Good article. Thanks for sharing.
There really should be no conundrum if India would only engage in what it has been preaching. If we were to read the statement on expanding coal production along with the biggest announcement called LiFE where the Indian PM exhorted the world to follow sustainable lifestyles then we could see stable coal production at current levels and moderate rise going into the next few decades.
Mitigation pathways easily available by incorporating basic sustainability principles within all the big sectors have been ignored for decades now. That’s what activism has been for some of us for decades. Sustainable urbanization, agriculture and lifestyle.
There is no way that renewables can power the utterly wasteful paradigm which we are mainstreaming. More than a “staunch environmentalist” PM we need a more mainstream environmental ethic which is completely absent today.
The value system at the village level to the large city level is the same. People would care much less about air pollution and garbage and sewage, where does the question of forests and biodiversity and climate come? Or reducing coal production?
The Metro cities are adding large quantities of air conditioning capacity on a daily basis. Personal mobility is expanding rapidly, we are nowhere close to half way mark. None of it can be served by renewable energy. We will be most populous in a few years, middle class expanding (and not consistent with LiFE). In all of this coal consumption is only going to keep increasing.
Demand management is nowhere even close on the horizon – forget the common man, its not close in the civil society actors at COPs who would much rather go after historic emissions rather than face and confront the very visible and uncomfortable squander within.
Preserving the forests of Hasdeo Arand should not even require a climate dimension or being seen as a responsible global citizen. It should be consistent with the dominant cultural and religious values which are millennia old.
If the double speak continues then I really don’t understand why India even participates in any climate talk. There really is no need. The global compact has anyways failed and there is a huge trust deficit. It is not that there will be any effective sanctions against India for runaway emissions. Every developed country needs the growing Indian middle class market.
People like Nirmala Sitharaman and Bhupendra Yadav or Modi for that matter are not visionaries. They are not thinking of 2050. They are cogs or nuts and bolts, which help deliver the machine give the desired output. They did not design the machine nor do they own it. No staunch environmentalist would be taking the kind of decisions that are being taken. The least that can be done is to prevent the pollution from double speak.