India says it needs coal until 2040 and beyond
Coal will play an important role in India until at least 2040, the country’s coal minister said on Wednesday, even as calls for countries to switch to cleaner forms of fuel grow during talks on the UN climate events taking place in Egypt.
Addressing a parliamentary committee, coal minister Pralhad Joshi said the fuel was an affordable source of energy and its demand had yet to peak in India.
“So no transition away from coal is happening in the foreseeable future in India,” Joshi said, adding that he would play an important role up to 2040 and beyond.
At COP27 talks running until November 18 in Egypt, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for urgent action to reduce emissions, including phasing out coal by 2040 in the world.
India has long resisted giving up coal and maneuvered with China during last year’s COP26 talks, hosted by Britain, to block stronger commitments to leave it.
Months of dwindling fuel stocks at power plants culminated in April’s worst energy crisis in more than six years, disrupting industrial activity and pushing India to ramp up coal mining.
As heat waves boost the use of air conditioning and increase demand for electricity, the government said in a statement that coal accounts for more than 51% of India’s primary energy needs and about 73% of the production of electricity.
Wealthier nations are under pressure to help the poorer world fund a transition to cleaner fuel.
US climate envoy John Kerry announced plans on Wednesday for companies to buy carbon credits to help countries transition from coal power.
Source: Reuters (reporting by Tanvi Mehta, editing by Louise Heavens and Barbara Lewis)