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

 

Bike-a-thon for renewable energy

Image gallery | June 6, 2013

You made the Bike-a-thon in Delhi a roaring success

Blog entry by Akshey Kalra | June 6, 2013

Hundred people on 25 stationary bicycles pedalled hard in the Delhi heat to 'Switch-on the Sun'. It was World Environment Day and a first of its kind bike-a-thon to show that the people of Delhi want renewable energy to power their...

In the worst-hit district, death is the only fate for animals?

Blog entry by Neelima Vallangi | June 5, 2013

When I first reached Nasik, even during the hot summer, I could feel the pleasant morning breeze. Nasik, I am told has a nicer weather. Temperatures weren't as harsh as the other places I had visited during my time in the drought-hit...

Cattle camps: the last resort

Blog entry by Neelima Vallangi | June 3, 2013

Cattle are the last means to earn a living for the drought-affected farmers of Maharashtra. Due to failed crops, there isn't much fodder left for the animals. Even though people own acres of fertile land, it is as good as barren land...

Water woes in drought-hit Maharashtra

Blog entry by Neelima Vallangi | May 31, 2013

Many districts of Maharashtra have been facing continuous water scarcity for the past 2-3 years and this has manifested in the form of severe drought this year affecting millions of people across the state. Water for irrigation aside,...

Pictures from Nagarcoil

Image gallery | May 28, 2013

Life changes when water dries-up

Blog entry by Neelima Vallangi | May 27, 2013

Image: © Neelima Vallangi/Greenpeace Dark clouds were looming in the sky. I could see the fields were all tilled and ready, waiting for the heavens to open up anytime now, many in hope of harvesting their first crop in an entire...

Renewable Energy fairs across Delhi

Blog entry by Shweta Sood | May 15, 2013

Photo © Apoorv Tiwary At Greenpeace, we believe that there's nothing more important than a well-informed public. We also believe that everyone is morally responsible for creating an environment that is sustainable, green and...

Renewable energy community fair at Mayur Vihar in Delhi

Blog entry by Muqeet Drabu | May 10, 2013

Photo © Apoorv Tiwary On the evening of May 5th 2013, in a residential area in Mayur Vihar, New Delhi, Greenpeace India and its determined volunteers held a community fair in order to spread awareness about the importance of solar...

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