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

 

'Hey Salil! Pass me the wires!'

Image | June 7, 2005 at 3:30

'Hey Salil! Pass me the wires!' - Thangamma helps with the setting up. Sitting on the machan on a Sunday morning hours before the activity was to begin we could not help the good feeling that washed over us. Staring down on M G Road, freshly...

The tree and the pavement opposite with the

Image | June 7, 2005 at 3:30

The tree and the pavement opposite with the KREDL truck in place was a hub of activity from around 3:30. Minor technical problems delayed the performances. This time provided a space for spontaneous discussions, arguments and debate about a...

Message from a treetop by Naveen and Sherin

Image | June 7, 2005 at 3:30

Message from a treetop by Naveen and Sherin. While the songs from the trees raised concerns, the van demonstrated some viable alternatives, through the use of renewable energy.

The view from the tree

Image | June 7, 2005 at 3:30

The view from the tree. The event brought together a large number of young people and compelled a large number of passers-by to stop and join in for a while and engage with the issues.

The issues surrounding tree cutting for many

Image | June 7, 2005 at 3:30

The issues surrounding tree cutting for many symbolized the conflict between environmental sustainability and ‘development’ of the city.

Under overcast skies

Image | June 7, 2005 at 3:30

Under overcast skies, the concert started with an introduction to the programme and - theme by Radhika - a solar generation member. The message of 'towards sustainable cities' articulated through a number of posters, banners and placards, struck...

Celebrating Orissa's choice of clean energy

Image | May 11, 2005 at 11:22

Celebrating Orissa's choice of clean energy at the famous Sun Temple of Konarak.

The Answer's Blowing In The Wind

Feature story | May 10, 2005 at 3:30

BHUBANESHWAR, India — In a historic win for the clean energy movement, the Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) has just thrown down the gauntlet for the giants of industry. Its directive, quite simply, compels GRIDCO and other...

List of Websites for the Power Sector

Publication | April 8, 2005 at 17:14

A list of online resources for information on the power sector.

Greenpeace petitions the OERC for Renewable Energy Uptake

Feature story | April 8, 2005 at 3:30

BHUBANESWAR, India — The Orissa Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) today heard the petition and arguments filed by Greenpeace, to ensure minimum of 10 percent of uptake of electricity from Renewable Energy sources in the state.

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