Ground Report | New Delhi: Coal will remain mainstay of energy; India has told the United Nations that coal will continue to be used for the country’s energy needs for the next few decades, BBC reported. Documents show that India is one of several countries that are consistently lobbying the United Nations against a complete ban on fossil fuels such as coal.
Coal will remain mainstay of energy
In November, at the COP26 summit on climate change to be held in Glasgow, UK, countries will be asked to pledge to cut emissions of greenhouse gases that raise atmospheric temperatures. India is the third-largest carbon emitter in the world after China and the US.
The report – which brings out the best evidence for slowing global warming – is produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations body studying climate change.
“Despite substantial growth in the renewable energy sector in India, coal will continue to be the mainstay of energy generation over the next few decades for the country’s sustainable economic development,” said a senior scientist at India’s Central Institute of Mining and Fuel Research.
CAT estimates that by 2030, India’s emissions will drop to half of 2005 levels, up from its previous target of 35%. But India has not yet clarified how they will achieve the level of zero emissions, that is, what they will do to eliminate carbon emissions completely. And India has neither told when it will do this.
On the other hand, China, the world’s largest carbon emitter and coal producer, has said that it will be carbon-free by 2060. The demand for coal is also not increasing there, and in such a situation, now the entire future of fossil fuel is left in the hands of the policymakers of India.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, urges UN scientists to conclude that “the focus of decarbonization efforts in the field of energy systems is increasingly to shift to zero-carbon sources and to actively eliminate fossil fuels.”
Argentina, Norway, and OPEC also disagree with this statement. Norway argues that UN scientists should accept the potential of CCS as a possible means of reducing emissions from fossil fuels.
The draft report acknowledges that CCS may play a role in the future, but says there are doubts about its viability. It says there is great ambiguity in “the extent to which fossil fuels will be compatible with the 2C and 1.5C targets with CCS” as put forward by the Paris Agreement.
Australia asked IPCC scientists not to mention an analysis of the role played by fossil fuel advocates in underpinning action against climate change in Australia and the US. OPEC also called on the IPCC to “remove lobbying activism, protect rent-seeking business models, stop political action”.
Asked about its comments on the draft report, OPEC told the BBC that there are several avenues to the challenge of tackling emissions and they all need to be explored. It states that there is a need to use all available energy sources as well as clean and more efficient technological solutions.