Paris Agreement Spells the End of Fossil Fuel Era

India must prioritise renewables over new coal: Greenpeace India

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Press release - November 7, 2016
Delhi, 4 November 2016 - The Paris agreement comes into force today, forging an irreversible path towards the complete phase out of fossil fuels.

On this occassion, Greenpeace International Executive Director, Jennifer Morgan, said, “By governments committing to the Paris agreement they have underscored the inevitable global transition away from fossil fuels. With renewable energy already winning markets from fossil fuels and coal heading into terminal decline worldwide, we have good reasons to be optimistic, but it will take even more innovation and civic support before we can celebrate.”

“We need to see all governments’ national plans be much more ambitious in cutting emissions, because their current contributions to this agreement are nowhere near enough to achieve its goals and prevent dangerous climate change. We expect that in the next couple of weeks, at the Marrakech climate talks, governments will start addressing this dangerous gap with the urgency our planet requires.”
Greenpeace India Executive Director Ravi Chellam said, “India is demonstrating to the world that it can meet its ambitious solar targets, with a new report (1) showing that solar PV in India is now growing several times faster than coal. It is time to double down to secure a safe climate for current and future generations by acting to stop new coal development. The financial and developmental case for new coal no longer exists, as off grid, renewable options can provide more reliable electricity at a cheaper rate than expanding the grid will. It is time to stop wasting scarce financial resources on building polluting, forest-destroying, people-displacing new coal plants and deploy those resources towards clean energy for all.”

Recent Greenpeace analysis (2) shows that India did not need any new coal power plants until 2022 at least, and possibly beyond, even with optimistic GDP growth and electricity demand forecasts. Over 175 GW of coal plants are currently proposed or have been granted permits but are yet to start construction, representing an investment of over Rs 3.2 lakh crore – a significant stranded capital risk for India’s economy.

Ravi continued, “Stopping new coal construction will have huge national benefits in terms of reduced air and water pollution, reduced loss of biodiversity and forest loss from mining and fewer social conflicts arising out of displacement. The outdated dogma of India needing to expand coal has never been less true that it is today.”

Notes:
1. Financing India's Clean Energy Transition, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, https://about.bnef.com/press-releases/india-making-strides-clean-energy-targets/
2. Stranded Investments: How India is Wasting Billions on Idle Coal Plants, Greenpeace India, http://www.greenpeace.org/india/Global/india/report/2016/Power%20scenario%20briefing-%20overcapacity%20FInal%20Ver.pdf
Fo further information:
Anindita Datta Choudhury,
Senior Media Officer,
Greenpeace India
+91 9871515804