Forget Paris: India Leads Asia’s Dash For Coal

India is opening a mine a month as it races to double coal output by 2020, putting the world’s third-largest polluter at the forefront of a pan-Asian dash to burn more of the dirty fossil fuel that environmentalists fear will upend international efforts to contain global warming. Other Asian nations are increasingly looking to coal to power their economies too, with Pakistan, the Philippines and Vietnam opening new plants, pushing the Asia/Pacific region to 80 percent of new coal plants. Japan plans to build another 41 new coal-fired units over the next decade. –Krishna N Das and Tommy Wilkes, Reuters, 5 October 2015

Coal fired

The Green Climate Fund (GFC) was founded to manage a significant portion of the $100 billion annual fund promised by rich countries to help the developing world adapt to climate change, but so far only has an annual budget of $700 million.  The Green Climate Fund was created four years ago during the COP in Durban (South Africa), with the aim of raising $100 billion per year from developed countries by 2020. But its uptake has been slow, and donations have not been forthcoming. —EurActiv, 5 October 2015

Much of the climate debate in the past 20 years has occurred in the backdrop of hysteria, data manipulation, and wholescale, shameless attempt at slandering those who don’t agree with the consensus. Climate scientists have become activists and politicians, while activists have assumed the role of policy makers, drafting rules and regulations. It is very unfortunate that the Modi government has succumbed to bullying tactics of western climate propaganda machines and devised a plan which is impractical and difficult to implement. Reality will soon dawn and the rosy projections will be exposed for what they really are. Like Pachauri’s projections of a meltdown of Himalayan glaciers. –Sriram Ramakrishnan, Times of India, 5 October 2015

The question that negotiators will ask: is the gap between India’s posture and that of the West large enough to cause a crisis at the upcoming Paris summit. The shadow of the disastrous 2009 Copenhagen climate summit still hangs over the process. India’s declared Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) is also a pointer to the areas of friction. If India insists that its targets are conditional on such assistance, talks will be in trouble. New Delhi, to some degree, has left this to the West. One view is that US President Barack Obama, determined to make climate change part of his legacy, will be prepared to let this go. French President Francois Hollande, the host of the summit, similarly wants to avoid a breakdown. Their desire for success should work in India’s negotiating favour. –Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Hindustan Times, 2 October 2015

Divisions over money between rich and poor countries re-emerged as nations submitted their plans for tackling climate change to the UN. The Philippines said that without adequate climate compensation, their cuts in emissions wouldn’t happen. India, the last big emitter to publish its contribution, said it would need $2.5 trillion to meet its targets. Developed countries have committed to $100bn funding for developing countries to deal with climate change by 2020, but India’s environment minister suggested the bill was going to a lot bigger than that. “I am telling the world that the bill for climate action for the world is not just $100bn, it is in trillions of dollars per year,” said Prakash Javadekar. –Matt McGrath, BBC News, 2 October 2015

Poland’s prime minister says she does not consider nuclear energy a priority and is instead focused on strengthening the coal mining industry. Ewa Kopacz’s comments indicated a U-turn from earlier government plans to add nuclear energy to Poland’s mix in the coming years. Kopacz said Monday that Poland’s energy security is based on coal. —Association Press, 5 October 2015