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News Brief | January 2016

India to push ahead with coal plans after Paris climate deal

India, which is the world's third largest carbon emmitter, still plans to double coal output by 2020 and rely on the resource for decades afterwards, days after 190-odd countries agreed to begin reining in rising greenhouse gas emissions this decade. The country is dependant on coal for about two-thirds of its energy needs and has vowed to mine more of the fuel to power its resource-hungry economy while also pledging to raise clean energy generation.
"Our dependence on coal will continue. There are no other alternatives available. Nothing has changed (following the Paris accord)," Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said. Govt seeks Cabinet nod for commercial mining by states.
The government is poised to undertake the next big-ticket reform in the coal sector by allowing state utilities to commercially mine coal, after which it will finalise protocols for opening the door to private companies.
The coal ministry has approached the Cabinet seeking approval for allotment of mines to state government utilities for non-captive use, said two officials aware of the development. The move will lead to resumption of commercial mining by state corporations that was barred by the Supreme Court in October 2014.
The government is holding a second round of consultations with private companies to arrive at a methodology for allowing them to mine and sell coal.
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