Why in News?
Ashish Kothari writes: It must re-examine the unsustainable and inequitable ways in which power is produced and distributed.
Syllabus—GS3: Energy Conservation
- Recently the India-US Climate & Clean Energy Agenda 2030 Partnership was launched at the Leaders’ Summit on Climate by US Prez.
- According to it, The USA has set an economy-wide target of reducing its net greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% below 2005 levels in 2030.
- India has set a target of installing 450GW of renewable energy by 2030.
- The partnership will aim to mobilize finance & clean energy deployment.
- Demonstrate & scale innovative clean technologies needed to decarbonize polluting sectors.
- Build capacity to measure, manage & adapt to the risk of climate-related impacts.
- G7 countries also announcing net zero carbon targets which hide the continued reliance on disruptive technologies in the pursuit of ever-increasing energy generation.
India’s flaws in this regard:
- The rapid increase in renewable energy capacity & partnerships like the ISA have won appreciation but have four hidden flaws.
- While substantially increasing RE, India is also expanding fossil fuel extraction & use.
- Indian govt has auctioned new coal blocks & new thermal power stations that increase the total carbon emissions even while RE’s share rises.
- Without any govt, serious targets, the decarbonizing of sectors mentioned could not reduce emissions.
- India includes mega-hydropower in RE, despite the ecological & social havoc it causes.
- Even the RE production parks have serious ecological & social impacts but do not even need an environmental impact assessment.
- The govt’s target of 100 GW by 20200 also included 40GW of rooftop solar, but poor policy backup has stymied it.
- Any amount of electricity demand is legitimate to be met in all possible ways.
- A shift from petro-diesel to electric cars would significantly expand devastating mining across the world.
- Unless luxury & wasteful consumption is eliminated, unsustainability & people’s displacement are inevitable.
- People who protect the forcible acquisition for mega-projects are labeled anti-development.
- The unequal colonial relationship that converts relatively self-reliant communicate into cheap labour & does little to help them adapt to climate crisis impacts.
- Viable alternatives have been demonstrated across the world.
- The Delhi govt is supporting govt schools to generate rooftop solar energy.
- Integrated power micro-grids can provide adequate power for entire village & urban neighborhoods.
- Alternatives to energy-guzzling sectors & privatized transportation exist.
- A sensitive architecture & demand for regulation. can dramatically reduce electricity use.
- Consumer behavior that uses wasteful & luxury power can be changed & regulated & power redistributed.
- All this should be part of the National Energy Policy & people’s mobilization will be crucial in this regard.
- While everyone has the right to the energy need for well-being but demanding more & more will lead to unsustainability & inequitablility.
- Without us sustaining the earth, the planet will not sustain us. It is high time for India to the true nature of global leadership.
The unequal colonial relationship between the North and the South is replicated in internal colonisation when the government grabs land, forests, and water, converts relatively self-reliant communities into cheap labour and does little to help them adapt to climate crisis impacts.Comment.