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

 

Comments and suggestions on the DERC proposal on Net Metering and Connectivity with...

Publication | December 17, 2013 at 12:55

This is a letter to the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) of New Delhi, India from Greenpeace.

Manifesto Report card

Publication | November 26, 2013 at 16:40

In 2013, Greenpeace India began the Switch on the Sun campaign in Delhi highlighting the states poor performance on the Renewable energy purchase obligation (RPO) of 0.01%. Followed by it we unveiled the “Rooftop Revolution- Unleashing Delhi’s...

Annual Report 2012

Publication | November 21, 2013 at 14:38

Greenpeace is a global organisation that uses non-violent direct action to tackle the most crucial threats to our planet's biodiversity and environment.

What is the IPCC saying and what does it mean?

Publication | September 27, 2013 at 16:54

Background briefing accompanying the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) AR5 WG1 launch.

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...

Energy [R]evolution 2nd Edition

Publication | November 16, 2012 at 15:30

The second edition of India Energy [R]evolution in 2012 provides a practical pathway for India to secure its energy particularly electricity supply to achieve its long-term ambitious economic growth along with providing access to modern...

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.

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...

Study of Impact of the Presidential Directive to Coal India

Publication | October 4, 2012 at 12:09

Greenpeace commissioned Equitorials, a financial research firm, to do an independent analysis of the financial impact of signing Fuel Supply Agreements(FSA) on Coal India Limited. This analysis has been done in the context of the Presidential...

Impact of Water Resources Projects-Case Study Wardha

Publication | August 8, 2012 at 16:30

Vidarbha region in Maharastra has a long history of under development. Many measures to offset the agrarian crisis in the region like the Prime Minister's debt relief assistance in 2006 has focussed extensively on developing assured irrigation...

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