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

 

Twenty two states fail to meet their Renewable Purchase Obligation

Feature story | April 23, 2013 at 11:39

Even as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last week promised to double India’s renewable energy capacity by 2017, the country’s present commitments on clean energy have remained unfulfilled.

Renewable energy a reality in some states, still a pipe dream in others

Blog entry by Neha Khator | April 22, 2013

When planning for a vacation, we all scout for locations that are green and serene. We all want to enjoy the fruits of nature but when it comes to rescuing and fighting for it, we tend to look the other way. This I realized while...

Powering Ahead with Renewables

Publication | April 22, 2013 at 14:30

In the backdrop of a persistent power crisis and raging coal scam, Greenpeace today released its assessment report on Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO) titled “Powering Ahead with Renewables: Leaders and Laggards”, which ranks performance of...

Australian coal: the view from India

Feature story | April 21, 2013 at 4:54

My name is Arpana Udupa, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace India. I’m on board the Rainbow Warrior, travelling up the Queensland coast.

Australia's Great Barrier Reef threatened by coal mining

Blog entry by Arpana Udupa | April 20, 2013

Image: Darren Jew/Greenpeace I joined the Rainbow Warrior III in Townsville, a city in the north-eastern coast of Queensland, Australia. After catching up with my Australian counterparts on the campaign and tour, I found myself in a...

Wanted: Polar explorers. No experience required.

Blog entry by James Turner | April 4, 2013

In just over two weeks I will be standing on the frozen Arctic ocean, preparing to ski to the North Pole. I'll be wearing four layers of fleece and a special hat that someone knitted for me. In my pockets I'll carry some almond...

Happy birthday, Greenfreeze!

Blog entry by Paula Tejon Carbajal | March 26, 2013

Greenfreeze production line 12/08/1993. © Ali Paczensky / Greenpeace Do you have a fridge at home? Then, unless you live in North America, you probably have a Greenfreeze. And what is that? A fridge that uses a revolutionary...

No water for drought-hit Maharashtra as thermal power plants prosper

Blog entry by Swati Mehta | March 22, 2013

Water was over. The sun was beating down our backs and a red-yellow, dried, mountain trail was around us. Our trek should have ended before sunrise, it was mid-day now. The desperate need for water was terrifying. Luckily we knew we'd...

If Kumi will...will you?

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | March 20, 2013

This year’s Earth Hour on March 23 is no ordinary Earth Hour. Climate change is being felt around the world - ravaging communities, destroying lives and livelihoods. We are running out of time, but we can still fix this. Energy...

Meet the judges and see the winning design

Feature story | March 15, 2013 at 12:30

We're excited to announce the winner of our youth flag design competition, run in collaboration with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. The winning flag design will be planted on the seabed at the North Pole next month!

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