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Green energy? Govt of India fails to project 'calamitous' threat to climate change

Counterview Desk
Shankar Sharma, a well-known power policy analyst based in Karnataka, in a letter to the Prime Minister, with copies to the Union ministers for environment, forests and climate change (EF&CC), health, power, and energy, has said expressed concern that the Government of India is not moving forward to accept the need to “replace the conventional energy technologies completely by renewable energy technologies by 2040-50.”
Worse, he says, the draft National Energy Policy (NEP) has projected that the country's total energy demand/supply, per capita consumption of energy, and the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the country level by 2040 will increase substantially, wondering whether the government is at all concerned about conserving the planet for future generations by accepting the idea that green technology alone can help save the environment.

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May I draw your kind attention to the article "Idea That 'Green Technology' Can Help Save the Environment Is Dangerous"? Among other things, this article correctly emphasises the point that "industrialists around the world have been extracting a wide array of minerals and metals to build electric vehicles and 'cleaner' batteries, simply replacing one injustice with another."
It is a very inconvenient truth that across the globe there is a blind pursuit of different energy technologies to meet the insatiable demand for energy, which is growing all the time. Even if various conventional energy technologies are able to be completely replaced by renewable energy technologies, say by 2040/50, the threats from the unmanageable levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and hence from climate change, will not go away completely.
Because, the various processes associated with the manufacture and commissioning of these renewable energy applications, such as solar power systems and wind turbines, starting from the mining of various elements and materials till the pollutants and wastes are safely disposed of, will be associated with various kinds of GHGs as mentioned in the article.
Such GHG emissions will certainly add to the overall GHG content/influence in the atmosphere, thereby not doing away with the calamitous threats of Climate Change.  So, what is urgently needed is the change in the mindset of our governments in not only moving completely towards renewable energy technologies, but also in drastically reducing the total energy demand at the individual country level.
In the case of India, the associated issues are much more severe because we have not even accepted the need yet to replace the conventional energy technologies completely by renewable energy technologies even by 2040/50, as revealed in the draft National Energy Policy (draft NEP) of 2017.
Additionally, this draft NEP has clearly projected that the country's total energy demand/supply, per capita consumption of energy and the total GHG emissions at the country level by 2040 will increase substantially.
We have not yet accepted the need yet to replace the conventional energy technologies completely by renewable energy
In this scenario, it is very difficult to project the severity of the threats of Climate Change to our people in the next two to three decades. Such threats are most likely to be many folds more severe because those human activities which give rise to unacceptable levels of GHG emissions, will also be directly responsible for the accelerated degradation of natural resources such as forests, fresh water bodies, fertile soils etc., leading to pollution/contamination of air, water and soil.
Hence, even if we look at the future of our communities from the health perspective alone, the scenario looks very bleak, unless there are country level actions which are effective and urgent in nature, involving all sections of our society. There can be no doubt that such actions will not be feasible without a paradigm shift in our developmental approach.
The prevailing economic paradigm of high growth rate of GDP year after year without any diligent consideration of the impacts on the overall community health and welfare must be urgently replaced by a carefully considered paradigm of all inclusive green and sustainable growth, even if it means a low growth rate of only 1-2%.
The ministries of health, energy, and environment, forests and climate change (EF&CC), which are directly associated with such implications should take a lead in heralding such a paradigm shift by convincing the PMO and the Cabinet of the grave urgency in taking suitable actions.
Various civil society organizations (CSOs) and individuals, who are working on such related issues at the grassroots level, will be keen to work with the government to bring about such a positive change.

Comments

Give more importance to renewable energy.
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