According to Minister Steven Guilbeault, a new agreement has been inked to collaborate with India on climate change action. It is a chance for Canada to promote its renewable technologies, particularly in terms of making clean energy a reliable electricity source.
However, coal power is not included in the agreement. This is amid Canada leading a global campaign to stop the use of coal for electricity generation and India being the world’s second-largest producer and user of coal.
Guilbeault stated in an interview that the agreement reached was the result of years of hard work by authorities in Canada and India. It was completed on the sidelines of an environmental conference in Sweden.
Both countries commit to collaborating on issues ranging from renewable energy to reducing emissions in the heavy industry under the agreement. Guilbeault admitted that India’s coal issue was not addressed during the meetings.
Coal is widely regarded as one of the most environmentally damaging sources of electricity and heating. It accounts for roughly 40% of global emissions.
By 2030, Canada’s policy is to eliminate all unmanaged coal-fired power plants. This means that existing facilities must either close or be transformed into an alternative fuel, such as natural gas, or develop carbon capture systems that catch pollutants and bury them below.
However, in India, the rising population and measures to deliver power to those who never had a dependable supply of energy have resulted in the opposite outcome. Coal emissions from coal nearly tripled between 2000 and 2020.
Coal now accounts for over half of India’s total carbon output. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is promoting a clean energy program, but his pledge to build 175 gigatonnes of renewable power by the end of this fiscal year will fall far short, with a little less than 100 gigatonnes built as of today.