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

 

Why the world's biggest coal company has backed down

Blog entry by Deng Ping and Harri Lammi | April 8, 2014

Last year, Greenpeace decided to do something we had never done before during our 13 years of work in China: target and confront a state owned coal company. And not just any company. The biggest and boldest, a Chinese government...

Deforestation: A vicious cocktail for the climate

Blog entry by Dr. Janet Cotter and Sebastian Bock | March 28, 2014

Every few years, thousands of the world's most renowned climate scientists work together as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to present us with the latest scientific assessment of how we are doing in terms...

Crisis to Solution - paving way to Solar pumping

Blog entry by Ruhie Kumar | December 12, 2013

The Innovation Challenge was launched on 3rd September, and ended on 15th November. The challenge was different - it invited submissions from all over the world to do something unique, something that could transform the way our...

Support the Arctic 30

Blog entry by Muskan Gaba & Tarushi Anand | December 4, 2013

By Muskan Gaba, 6th Grade, Vivekanand School On 16th November, 2013 at Jantar Mantar, I attended the campaign on #Freethearctic30. I was very curious to know about it as there was a fake jail and there were some people enacting as...

30 cities for Arctic 30

Feature story | December 4, 2013 at 12:26

The Arctic 30 have been released on bail. But it's not over - the piracy charges which were posed on them still remain.

Don’t believe the hype – hooliganism is hardly better than piracy

Blog entry by Jess Wilson | October 24, 2013

Earlier this evening Russian authorities offered the Arctic 30 — currently being held in a freezing jail in Murmansk — what looked like a legal olive branch by dropping piracy charges and replacing them with ones of "hooliganism."...

Cyclone Phailin; a disaster uncalled for

Blog entry by Abhishek Pratap | October 17, 2013

In an earlier protest Greenpeace activists project a message to stop climate change on a cooling tower of the National Thermal Coal Plant. The morning after Cyclone Phailin struck the east coast with all its fury, the newspapers had...

Cyclone Phailin: The strongest in more than a decade

Blog entry by Samit Aich | October 12, 2013

As I write, I am fearfully watching the news from Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. Cyclone Phailin, the strongest in more than a decade, looks set to reach landfall in the next hour. Already early strong winds have been lashing the...

An assault on the very principle of peaceful protest

Blog entry by Jess Wilson | October 4, 2013

It is bitterly ironic that as the world celebrated Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday as International Non-Violence Day, 30 non-violent, peaceful protestors sat locked up in jail cells in Russia. Yesterday, 13 activists and one freelance...

LIVE - Latest Updates from the Arctic Sunrise activists

Feature story | October 3, 2013 at 21:30

UPDATED: From peaceful action to dramatic seizure: a timeline of events since the Arctic Sunrise took action September 18 (CET).

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