Like most countries and corporations, India has also set targets to cut down carbon emissions, and seeks to reduce carbon intensity by 45 per cent till 2030. The country also aims to fulfill half of its energy demands through solar and wind power in the same period. But India has also been criticised at the UN climate summit for resisting the need to phase out coal subsidies. Commenting on the issue, Gautam Adani who has scaled up import of coal to India for power generation, said that shedding fossil fuels immediately isn’t feasible for India.
Adani’s green investments smudged by coal?
Speaking at a conference in Singapore, India’s richest man also added that India’s neighbour China will soon be isolated, since its Belt & Road initiative is facing resistance in many countries. Adani’s statements defending India’s use of fossil fuel came after he said that 70 per cent of his firm’s $100 billion investment over the next decade will be spent on transitioning to renewable energy. The world’s third wealthiest man, who aims to become the biggest player in the solar energy space, has also faced flak for his coal mine in Australia which will supply coal for power generation in India.
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Adani’s Carmichael coal mine near Australia's Great Barrier Reef faces resistance from environmental activists, due to fears that it may affect the ecology and aggravate global warming. A US-based lender Bank of New York Mellon Corp also distanced itself from Adani over the controversy regarding the mine, which will supply 10 million tonnes of thermal coal a year for three decades.
Playing both ways on clean energy promises?
As Adani scales up coal imports from his own mine to generate power amidst the threat of an energy crisis in India, he also announced a $70 billion investment in the green hydrogen space. Earlier this year, Delhi-based Climate Trends warned that India’s climate commitments for 2030, may be hampered because of UP and Haryana lagging behind.
With reliable electricity supply as a priority for development, India is on track to increase coal power capacity by 56 gigawatts, even though it already accounts for the third highest greenhouse gas emissions globally.