Coal power stand at COP26 climate talks lends India time to transition
Far from Glasgow, in the coal hub of Ranchi in eastern India, labour union leader D. D. Ramanandan followed the COP26 climate summit closely, scanning tweets by experts and news reports to check for any imminent “threat to coal” in his country.
So when India, along with other coal-reliant nations like China, pushed successfully to water down language on efforts to ditch coal power at the talks, drawing criticism, Ramanandan saw it as an opportunity to plan a better green transition.
“I followed (the) COP to see if India pledges for transition because then the process will begin here and it will impact workers, land users, entire towns and villages. This is a big issue,” said Ramanandan, general secretary of the All India Coal Workers Federation.
“Local communities still don’t believe a future beyond coal is possible. But we need to prepare ourselves,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.
“It is important to control carbon emissions and coal will end – if not in 20, then 50 years,” he added.