“Going Up In Smoke” – UN Calls On India To Abandon Failing Coal Industry

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Gueterres has told India to back clean energy, amid plans to auction off 41 coal sites to reduce the cost of energy imports.

Even though the cost of solar power has plummeted, India has relentlessly pursued dirty energy. Solar power, now cheaper than coal, has been adopted by a number of countries and India’s constant refusal to back green initiatives make the introduction more difficult when factoring in a transitional stage. Although phased inductions are realistic.

“…The coal business is going up in smoke.” 

As greenhouse gas emissions quicken at unprecedented rates, coal plant openings will require rapid deforestation hastening GHG emissions due to a lack of plant life to sequester carbon.

Gueterres’ statement regarding India’s steps in the energy sector went further, highlighting the pandemic as a pivotal time to turn things around:

“Investments in renewable energy, clean transport and energy efficiency during the recovery from the pandemic could extend electricity access to 270 million people worldwide – fully a third of the people that currently lack it…”

“They see the writing on the wall…” … “…The coal business is going up in smoke.” 

Not only does India’s behaviour move further from the Paris Climate Agreement, it sends the wrong message to nations tempted, and already fearful of job losses, to move away from fossil fuels. Mr Guetteres went on to say “these same investments could help create nine million jobs annually over the next three years“.

Photograph: Amit Gaur