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

 

Climate change in India

Feature story | December 9, 2004 at 4:30

ORISSA, India — Right now, representatives of the world's governments are sitting in Argentina discussing climate change. But while they're talking, global warming is already distrupting people's lives. Here's a report from Greenpeace activist...

Uncharted waters for the Climate?

Feature story | December 6, 2004 at 4:30

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Politicians from around the world are gathering in Argentina to discuss climate change. We have unveiled our own 'Climate Ark' in the centre of Buenos Aires to illustrate the urgent need for action.

Kyoto saved: not the planet

Feature story | October 22, 2004 at 3:30

MOSCOW, Russian Federation — The Russian Parliament voted to ratify the Kyoto Protocol today in a body blow to George W Bush's opposition to action on climate change.

Putin gives Kyoto green light

Feature story | September 30, 2004 at 3:30

MOSCOW, Russian Federation — George Bush's Government is out in the cold over Kyoto - and it's that old Cold War enemy, Russia, that's put it there. The Russian government today moved closer towards ratifying the crucial climate change treaty. ...

Extreme weather warnings

Feature story | September 9, 2004 at 3:30

Hurricane devastation in the US, flash floods in Japan and a UK village washed into the sea. As climate change gathers pace, devastation caused by extreme weather is becoming more common. Take a visual tour of storm and flood destruction.

Solar Lanterns Light up Lives of Young Survivors of Bhopal Tragedy

Feature story | September 9, 2004 at 3:30

BHOPAL, India — The International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal (ICJB) today launched Project Chirag an income-generation initiative for young survivors of the world’s worst industrial disaster. The ICJB has decided on having “hope” and...

Commit to an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

Feature story | August 28, 2004 at 3:30

BANGALORE, India — This year, on World Environment Day, you can do more than express token appreciation for the environment around you – you can commit to a toxic-free future, one that is healthy for you, safe for your family, and does not...

Athens disqualified from Green Olympics

Feature story | July 29, 2004 at 3:30

ATHENS, Greece — The Athens Olympics may boast gold, silver and bronze medals this summer - but green medals will be nowhere in sight despite Greece's promises of making the 2004 Olympics the greenest ever.

Greenpeace exposes the dirty face of Europe's energy subsidies

Feature story | July 29, 2004 at 3:30

BANGALORE, India — Despite innumerable statements about the dangers of climate change and the need for more renewable energy from a host of European institutions, blank cheques are still being written to underpin the industries at the heart of...

Greenpeace action forces Industry to acknowledge Right to Information

Feature story | July 23, 2004 at 3:30

HYDERABAD, India — Greenpeace takes action on Citizen’s Right to Know campaign in Patancheru; Gets commitment from industry to adhere to Supreme Court order on hazardous chemicals.

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