Even as India is being targeted for expanding coal usage for energy production, a Delhi-based green NGO today said that focusing only on coal and India is an “unnecessary distraction” and creating “bad blood” at the climate conference here and is a “well planned campaign”.The Centre for Science and Environment said that despite the ambitious plans of the Indian government on renewable energy, the campaign to bring the narrative that India is going to burn the world with coal is the “only negative counter narrative” but it will not help.
“We are disconcerted with the language being used here.Focusing on only coal and only India is an unnecessary distraction. It is creating a lot of bad blood in Paris.”It looks like a well planned campaign to ensure that the issue of carbon budget where one needs to take into account the historical responsibility of nations (on emissions) and equity issue in the climate debate here is being treated as obstruction. India’s entire focus on equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR), to counter that has been brought forward,” said CSE deputy director general Chandra Bhushan.
Noting that he sees the narrative in closed rooms and in the western media, Bhushan said that India and coal are the talk of town.”I think there is no other issue to corner India than coal. This is quite clear. India has a very clear position on climate change that equity and CBDR is important. So to bring the narrative that India is going to burn the world with coal is the only negative counter narrative which is available,” he said.
The comments come in the back drop of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s remark that India will be a “challenge” at the Paris climate change conference.Bhushan said India should have put out its coal story in a lot better way than it has been doing till now.Hitting out at the US and other developed nations, Bhushan said that coal is being used and will continue to be used in both developed and developing nations.
“Coal is a major source of power sector in both developed and developing countries. The availability of gas in India and China is low, we have coal and we use it. But US has both gas and coal, 68 per cent depends on fossil fuel, 87 per cent of electricity in Australia comes from coal. Coal is a dominant source of energy across the world. It is not an Indian phenomenon or a Chinese phenomenon,” he said.Elaborating further, he said coal usage in US in 2014 is more than what it was in 1990 and asserted that US consumes more fossil fuel than ever before in its history.