New Delhi: Coal will remain an important part of India’s energy needs, said foreign secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra hours before Prime Minister Narendra Modi headed to Dubai on Thursday, November 30, for the COP28 climate meeting.
The statement by Kwatra assumes significance as the conference is expected to discuss the use of coal, with delegates most likely advocating for the switch to renewable energy sources.
“Coal is, and would, remain an important part of India’s energy needs,” Kwatra told reporters ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to Dubai.
India relies on coal for 73% of its energy needs. It is expected to generate another 17 gigawatts of power from coal-based power plants to fulfill its rising energy demands. This particular addition is the fastest in recent times. India has come under criticism from major powers of the world for allegedly not being able to reduce its reliance on coal-based energy fast enough.
India, along with China, is expected to oppose any discussion or decision that were to come out of the conference which could potentially put strictures on coal-fired power stations. France and the United States are expected to put a stop on private financing of these plants at the COP28, Reuters quoted sources as saying.
Kwatra said India is among a handful of large economies that are on track to fulfil all their climate commitments. “India is one of the very few major economies that is well on track to complete its obligated NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions). In fact, we had announced and upgraded our NDCs last year, and we are very happy to say that we are now well on our way even to meet those upgraded NDC targets,” he added.
He said India is hoping for a clear roadmap on climate financing at the COP28, while affirming that it has always been upfront about its support for a “loss-and-damage” fund. The fund in question helps countries recover from environmental degradation caused by industrial development.
“Loss and damage fund will be of great benefit to developing countries,” he added. “We are proactive in taking practical climate action measures, and basing them on a very firm conceptual understanding and a very firm belief that our development has to be green development, while at the same time it also triangulates well with our developmental priorities.”
Over 140 heads of states or governments are attending the high-level segment of the COP28 meeting Friday, December 1.