India, the first major economy to commit to a moratorium on new coal plants

By Y P Prakash

India is planning to amend its National Electricity Policy draft, which would result in a halt in the construction of new coal-fired power plants. This move would make India the first major economy to commit to a moratorium on new coal plants. By phasing out these plants, India can significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, combat climate change, improve air quality, create jobs in the clean energy sector, enhance energy independence, and protect its natural resources. This decision is a significant advancement for India’s climate ambitions and a major victory for climate activists. It demonstrates India’s dedication to meeting its climate commitments and taking bold steps to reduce emissions, marking a positive development for both India and the world.

India is set to stop constructing new coal-fired power plants, except for those already in the pipeline, by removing a key clause from the final draft of its National Electricity Policy (NEP). This decision, if approved by the federal cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, would be a significant boost in the global fight against climate change. Currently, China would be the only major economy open to new requests for significant coal-fired capacity. India and China account for approximately 80% of all active coal projects, as many developing nations are reducing capacity to meet climate targets.

As of January 2023, only 20 countries have more than one planned coal project, according to E3G, an independent climate think tank. After extensive deliberations, government sources have stated that India has concluded that new coal additions, aside from those already in the pipeline, will not be necessary. The sources, who declined to be identified due to lack of authorization, also mentioned that the new policy, if approved, would not impact the 28.2 GW of coal-based power currently under construction.

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Source:: Colombo Gazette