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Distant Amazon rainforest losing 200,000 acres a day is 'no consolation' for India

By Shankar Sharma*

According to reports, the Amazon rainforest is losing 200,000 acres a day, even fossil fuel industry continues to get subsidies of $11m a minute. Whereas losing 200,000 acres of rainforest every day cannot be anything but suicidal for humanity, the fact that it may be happening in a distant land cannot be any consolation either for India.
India may not be doing anything better in this regard when we notice that thousands of hectares of forest lands are being routinely diverted even from the legally protected Wildlife Sanctuaries. Many eco-scientists may think it is already too late.
It is deplorable that the fossil fuel industry is getting subsidies of $11m a minute even in October 2021. India's scenario in this context may not be anything to write home about.
The exploitation of India's communities in the form of fossil fuel subsidy cannot be anything better, when we also consider the fact that the Union government is about to auction 40 additional coal mines, despite the past experience associated with coal shortage, uncertainty, enormous costs to the larger society, social and environmental issues, global warming concerns etc.
When we consider the available news reports/ developments from a holistic perspective of the overall welfare of our communities, the global scenario (as well as that in India) cannot be termed as anything but self-destruction of a high order.
When we also objectively consider the escalating power crisis in the country because of the coal power problems, as highlighted by BBC, the completely irrational policy of our Union government to continue to rely/invest on coal power infrastructure, despite very many associated warnings for over a decade, should become crystal clear.
The most unfortunate scenario is that the Union government has not cared to provide any substantiation of its dubious policies on energy and environment sectors; and civil society also does not seem to care about the need for such clarifications.
It can only be stated as shocking that all the associated irrational policies in the energy sector are being pursued without a credible National Energy Policy. This should not be acceptable even for a Vishwa Guru.
---
*Power and climate policy analyst, Vijayanagar 1st stage, Sagara, Karnataka

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