India admits it will miss coal emissions targets

3 May 2017   India

India’s ageing power stations will miss a government deadline to slash their emissions, the country’s power minister has admitted, as he reiterated the country’s longstanding position that the responsibility for tackling global pollution rests squarely with the west. Stricter standards from the country’s environment ministry, introduced two years ago, gave the country’s mostly state-owned thermal power plants until December this year to cut carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions and reduce their water use. The new rules, which affect stations differently depending on how old they are but require cuts of up to two-thirds in particulate matter, were intended to “minimise pollution”. But Piyush Goyal, the power minister, told the Financial Times that the country’s coal power stations, three-quarters of which are owned by the government, “will take some more time” to upgrade their technology and cut emissions. “India is not a polluter. It’s America and the western world that has to first stop polluting . . . India is doing its bit far more than we are responsible” he said. “We don’t have enough domestic capacity to meet this requirement in such a short period.”

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