India ‘cannot escape’ coal phasedown, top coal ministry official says

(Climate Home News, 24 Nov 2021) India “cannot escape” phasing down unabated coal power and setting out a clear roadmap for doing so, a top official in the coal ministry has said.

Anil Jain, India’s coal secretary, made the remarks while launching a report by the National Foundation for India (NFI) on the socio-economic impacts of weaning the country off coal.

“Now there is an international consensus. There is a goal: phase-down, which will happen. India is a signatory to that. I’m sure in the coming years the pressure will be to quantify the phasing down. We cannot escape that and nor does India intend to dilute its commitment,” he said.

India, backed by China, made a last-minute diplomatic push at the Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow to water down the language of the final agreement from calling for a “phase out” of unabated coal power to a “phasedown”.

Prime minister Narendra Modi has promoted coal mine expansion, with plans to ramp up domestic coal production from 783 million tonnes in 2019 to one billion tonnes per year as part of his self-reliant India policy.

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Climate Home News, 24 Nov 2021: India ‘cannot escape’ coal phasedown, top coal ministry official says