Cutting carbon emissions

Coal fired power plants are the biggest source of manmade CO2 emissions. This makes coal energy the single greatest threat our climate faces. In India up to 40 percent of our current CO2 emissions comes from coal fired power stations.

To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, including widespread drought, flooding and massive population displacement caused by rising sea levels, we need to keep global temperature rise below 2ºC (compared to pre-industrial levels). To do this, global greenhouse gases emission must peak by 2015 and go down to zero from there.

India is the third largest emitter of carbon dioxide after China and the US. Its emissions are expected to have significant growth over the next 20 years or so. Our emissions come from various activities but the largest share is from the electricity sector because of the way we produce most of our electricity today.

Coal based power plants produce 70 percent of our electricity needs and 40 percent of our total carbon dioxide emissions. If we want to play a significant, responsible role in tackling climate change, we must lead the way by reducing our dependence on coal and finding newer, cleaner ways to produce electricity.

Campaign story:

Our coal campaign highlights the impacts of coal in our energy mix, on the people and environment. We have an opportunity to build the energy infrastructure of the future and must seize it.

There is a huge surge in coal mining and the number of coal fired power plants in the guise of meeting electricity demands and development for the country. However coal cannot deliver India’s growth and development aspirations beyond a few years. It is neither a secure nor a sustainable energy option.

In fact it is a risky investment for the industries and the government. The campaign will demonstrate that supply of coal is severely limited by social and economical factors, making it a dead investment in the medium and long term. The campaign will also make the case that going down the coal route will be costly for India’s global image and long term development interests.

Limited coal:

A lot of our coal is found under the few remaining heavily forested areas of our country or where there are a large number of people living. To get to the coal we must either cut down the forests and/or displace large numbers of people from these regions. When people are displaced, they need to be rehabilitated to similar places where they can rebuild their lives. Given that land is not easy to come by we will not be able to provide people replacements for what they are expected to lose.

So while we theoretically have a lot of coal, there are unacceptable things that may be done to actually be able to use it. Therefore, we must stop looking at coal as an option and start by reducing our dependence on it beginning right now.

We will investigate and publicise the true cost of coal and urge people and policy makers to make the right choices.

The latest updates

 

Impact of Water Resources Projects-Case Study Wardha

Publication | August 8, 2012 at 16:30

Vidarbha region in Maharastra has a long history of under development. Many measures to offset the agrarian crisis in the region like the Prime Minister's debt relief assistance in 2006 has focussed extensively on developing assured irrigation...

Coal kills people and tigers. And now it isn’t even cheap.

Blog entry by Ashish Fernandes | August 2, 2012

It's no secret that coal pollution kills people; it's now increasingly clear that expanding coal mining is destroying significant areas of tiger, leopard and elephant habitat in India. Recent GIS analysis by Greenpeace shows that coal...

How coal mining is trashing tigerland

Publication | August 1, 2012 at 16:35

This report makes the case that the biggest threat to the long term survival of the Royal Bengal Tiger in its largest contiguous landscape- Central India- has been overlooked by the Indian government and its administrative machinery. That threat...

Together we can save the Arctic

Blog entry by Richard George | June 27, 2012

The Arctic is under threat. As you read this, oil companies and politicians are plotting to carve up the icy north, extending their national territories and searching for drill sites. But with your help, we can draw a line in the...

Energy [R]evolution Bihar

Image gallery | June 7, 2012

Russia’s oil leaks – a forgotten disaster

Blog entry by Jon Burgwald | May 25, 2012

It’s late in the evening, but the sun has not yet settled here in Usinsk in the northernmost part of Russia where my Russian colleague and I arrived in a storming blizzard a few days ago. Located just at the border of the Arctic,...

Smart Energy Access report

Publication | May 15, 2012 at 16:07

Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. The energy shortage is most acute among India’s rural poor and in states such as Bihar, where more than 80% of the population still live in the rural...

Apple: the writing’s on the wall

Blog entry by Kat Clark | May 15, 2012

For over a month now, our supporters around the world have been helping us tell Apple that they want a clean iCloud. Apple’s executives have thus far ignored the hundreds of thousands of people asking them to use their influence for...

Agenda for the conference

Publication | May 14, 2012 at 18:00

The international business conference on 15th May at Hotel Maurya, Patna, Bihar focuses specifically on the issue of DRE and energy access. The conference intends to bring global perspectives on driving investment and various other frameworks...

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