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

 

Convention on Biological Diversity: whimper rather than a bang

Blog entry by Abhishek Srivastavaa | October 24, 2012

The world gathered in India last week, with almost 15,000 delegates from 193 nations enraptured in chalking out a plan to tackle the decline in biodiversity by 2020. The summit seemed too big to fail, especially considering the...

Tigers at the door

Blog entry by Brikesh Singh | October 16, 2012

At Greenpeace India we are always looking for the most effective ways to communicate our messages – today in the hi-tech world of modern media that includes tweeting and texting, blogging and subvertising. But there are times when...

Tigers have a message for the Indian Prime Minister

Image | October 16, 2012 at 15:52

As Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh prepared for his key note speech to nearly 200 world politicians and international dignitaries at the UN’s Convention on Biodiversity, three Greenpeace activists accompanied by ‘Tigers’ from the...

Tigers have a message for the Indian Prime Minister

Image | October 16, 2012 at 15:52

As Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh prepared for his key note speech to nearly 200 world politicians and international dignitaries at the UN’s Convention on Biodiversity, three Greenpeace activists accompanied by ‘Tigers’ from the...

Tigers have a message for the Indian Prime Minister

Image | October 16, 2012 at 15:52

As Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh prepared for his key note speech to nearly 200 world politicians and international dignitaries at the UN’s Convention on Biodiversity, three Greenpeace activists accompanied by ‘Tigers’ from the...

Countering Coal

Publication | October 15, 2012 at 14:30

This report exposes the environmental damage and human rights violations against tribal and other forest dwellers in the forests of Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh, that are under threat from the Indian government’s massive coal expansion programme.

As an Indian, I speak out against Coal Crimes

Blog entry by Amala Akkineni | October 15, 2012

'Lights, camera, action' are three words I have become used to in my professional career. If my stint at Charminar is anything to go by, then 'Arrested 'is going to be a new phrase I will become accustomed to as an activist with...

Pick tigers over coal

Blog entry by Vinuta Gopal | October 12, 2012

Few countries can boast a national animal with the status as India. The tiger, as a symbol of India, is as recognisable as the Taj Mahal and as loved as Mahatma Gandhi. Yet this iconic emblem of India is under threat and perhaps most...

CBD media briefing

Publication | October 11, 2012 at 11:13

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), with its 193 parties or delegates is the globe’s most important conference on protecting the planet’s diminishing biodiversity – It is the conference that covers life on earth and the use of the...

Actress Amala Akkineni protests with Greenpeace from Charminar

Feature story | October 8, 2012 at 19:00

The Charminar, was the venue Greenpeace activists chose in Hyderabad to protest against coal mining destroying forests in Central India. On October 8, the first day of the Convention on Biological Diversity being held in the city, activists...

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