Anti-coal campaigners of Asia to Indian Minister Piyush Goyal: Coal is not the Answer

PRESS RELEASE

May 21, 2017

Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD)

Anti-coal campaigners of Asia to Indian Minister Piyush Goyal:

Coal is not the Answer

In response to a statement by India’s coal minister Piyush Goyal that the Paris Agreement on climate change does not stop any country from meeting its energy needs from whatever source it may choose, the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), a regional alliance that campaigns against coal use and financing said that “the right to development, including energy access, does not mean the right to worsen global warming and destroy existing ecosystems”.

Lidy Nacpil, veteran activist from the Philippines and coordinator of APMDD declared, “Coal is not the answer. The Indian government owes it to its citizens and citizens of other countries to do its fair share of efforts in global climate action. We are peoples movements from Asian countries who demand this from all of our governments, as we come from nations that are most vulnerable to the dangers brought by the unfettered warming of planet”.

She added, “One of our urgent demands is to stop the further expansion of the coal industry and to start the phaseout of existing coal industry while ensuring a just transition towards clean, safe and renewable energy systems”.

Sreedhar Ramamurthi, founder and managing trustee of Environics Trust clarified, “The adamancy and the flawed plan to continue the focus on coal could be India’s greatest undoing for the climate. Solar prices have touched such lows making it a better financial option, even overlooking the massive impacts”.

“Instead of working towards a just transition, the Minister is propounding a model detrimental to all. The idea of driving up coal and energy production the contemplation of making all transport to electric vehicles is to drive the countryside to become as polluted as the urban areas. The 8 Billion USD so far collected from the coal miners as clean energy (now environment) fund should be directly used for transition and not in false solutions that only benefit the corporate and elite,” he furthered.

Meanwhile, Willy D’Costa, alliances and linkages coordinator of the Indian Social Action Forum concluded, “India is shamelessly pushing coal despite surplus power. It is time that we switch over to decentralized clean renewables and move away from the capitalist monster grid”.

“The government of India must do its share by increasing its commitment to reduce greenhouse gases emissions, especially its excessive dependence on coal. According to the 2016 data of the International Energy Agency (IEA), the country ranked first and second in coal production and importation, respectively. It is also the world’s number one in coal use for electricity generation”, he concluded.

For details, contact:

Lidy Nacpil (APMDD Coordinator), [email protected]