A Thomson Reuters Financial & Risk study showed on Tuesday that of the global burden of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, the world’s 250 biggest listed companies account for a third. Coal India Ltd is among the top culprits on that list.
That sums up India’s climate change challenge. India continues to have a heavy dependence on the fuel; coal plants account for over 60% of India’s energy. They have been suffering from overcapacity in the recent past, but the current coal crisis shows that this is by no means a permanent shift.
With the rise in power demand with the festival season and a fall in hydel and nuclear generation, it’s coal plants that are picking up the slack. As a consequence, almost a quarter of coal plants around the country suffered from coal shortages in October and the government is pushing Coal India to ramp up production.
The government’s renewable energy targets are ambitious; so is its Nationally Determined Contribution under the Paris climate change agreement. But India has a long way to go yet.