The IEA’s 2019 coal report sheds light on the reality of coal’s future, especially in Asia and more specifically in India. Whilst headlines in Western media herald the end of coal and showcase the accelerated pace in the growth of renewable energy, the report underlines the stark reality of the role coal still plays and will play for a while yet in a nation such as India.
Of all nations where coal still plays a significant role in both electricity production and heavy industries such as steel and cement, none is more representative of the need for a responsible coal supply chain than India. The country is the third largest energy consumer in the world, and it also produced more coal than ever in 2018. Here the coal dichotomy is clear: coal is necessary to fuel economic growth and the increasing need for energy that comes with that growth, yet it is still necessary to find ways of minimising the undeniable negative impacts that are associated with coal mining and coal usage for people and the environment.
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