Floods in Pakistan: Biggest Global Polluters US, Europe, China and India Must Accept Responsibility

Pakistan, a country that has contributed only 0.28% of the CO2 emissions, is among the biggest victims of climate change. The US, Europe, India, China and Japan, the world's biggest polluters, must accept responsibility for the catastrophic floods in Pakistan and climate disasters elsewhere. A direct link of the disaster in Pakistan to climate change has been confirmed by a team of 26 scientists affiliated with World Weather Attribution, a research initiative that specializes in rapid studies of extreme events, according to the New York Times

Top 5 Current Polluters. Source: Our World in Data

Currently, the biggest annual CO2 emitters are China, the US, India and Russia. Pakistan's annual CO2 emissions add up to just 235 million tons. On the other hand, China contributes 11.7 billion tons, the United States 4.5 billion tons, India 2.4 billion tons, Russia 1.6 billion tons and Japan 1.06 billion tons. 

Pakistan's Annual CO2 Emission. Source: Our World in Data

The United States has contributed 399 billion tons (25%) of CO2 emissions, the highest cumulative carbon emissions since the start of the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century. The 28 countries of the European Union (EU28), including the United Kingdom, come in second with 353 billion tons of CO2 (22%), followed by China with 200 billion tons (12.7%). 

Cumulative CO2 Emissions. Source: Our World in Data

Pakistan's cumulative CO2 contribution in its entire history is just 4.4 billion tons (0.28%). Among Pakistan's neighbors, China's cumulative contribution is 200 billion tons (12.7%),  India's 48 billion tons (3%) and Iran's 17 billion tons (1%).  

Developing Asian Nations' CO2 Emissions. Source: Our World in Data

Pakistan has contributed little to climate change but it has become one of its biggest victims. In the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change, signatories agreed to recognize and “address” the loss and damage caused by those dangerous climate impacts, according to the Washington Post. Last year, at the major U.N. climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, negotiators from developing countries tried to establish a formal fund to help the countries like Pakistan most affected by climate disasters. It was blocked by rich countries led by the Biden administration. 

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Comment by Riaz Haq on November 6, 2022 at 7:42pm

Pakistan may become unbearably hot by end of the century

https://www.dawn.com/news/1719270


New UNDP report on COP27 eve predicts number of ‘extremely hot days’ could rise to 179 by year 2099

Meteorologists note spring has nearly vanished, extreme heatwaves becoming all too common

https://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/HCH/HCH_PR_en.pdf

Even as the government prepares to make a case for climate justice at the UN climate conference (COP27) that starts today (Sunday), an alarming new United Nations report predicts that Pakistan’s average annual temperature will increase to 22.4 degrees Celsius within the next decade and a half, and would cross the 26oC threshold by the end of the century.

The fresh report also warns that on average, the number of hot days in a year — i.e. when the temperature remains above 35 Celsius — will be 124 by the end of 2030, and this number will rise to 179 by the year 2099.

At 35 Celsius, the human body struggles to cool down through perspiration alone — hence raising the risk of death from overheating.


The Human Climate Horizons platform, a collaboration between the United Nations Development Progra­mme (UNDP) and the Climate Impact Lab, provides insights into the direction and magnitude of changes in the climate, like the number of extremely hot days each year and the impact of those changes on human welfare.

According to a UNDP press release, the new data shows the need to act qui­ckly, not only to mitigate climate cha­nge but also to adapt to its consequences.

“For instance, in Faisalabad, Pakistan, even with moderate mitigation, additional deaths due to climate change would average 36 per 100,000 people each year between 2020-2039. Without substantially expanding adaptation efforts, Faisalabad could expect annual climate change-related death rates to nearly double, reaching 67 deaths per 100,000 by midcentury. An increment almost as deadly as strokes, currently Pakistan’s third leading cause of death,” the statement says.

The latest warnings corroborate findings and concerns that have been raised by local experts over the past several years, who have long been insisting that climate change is no longer an approaching challenge, rather it is “happening right now”.

“In the very recent past, the Pakistan Meteorological Depart­ment (PMD) conducted a thorough research for an international organization, which should also have set alarms bell ringing,” says Nadeem Faisal, former director of the Climate Data Processing Centre — a key unit within the PMD.

He referred to the findings of a previous study, which suggested that Pakistan has warmed considerably since the early 1960s, with more warming witnessed in daytime maximum temperatures than night-time minimum temperatures.

“An analysis of the data revealed that the annual mean temperature has risen for the country as a whole by 0.74°C over the last 58 years by 2019, which is quite alarming,” he said. “The recent changes in weather conditions very much manifest the authenticity of this finding.”

The change in the mean temperature has been accompanied by a large increase in extreme temperatures. Since 2011, the number of extreme heat records being set in Pakistan has increased significantly. The frequency of very warm months (May–August) has also increased manifold over the recent decade.

While high-temperature extremes have increased significantly, low-temperature extremes are less frequent, the report says. The observation supplements a warning in latest UN reports, which predict that Hyderabad in Sindh is likely to become the hottest city in the world by the year 2100, with its highest average temperature reaching 29.9°C to 32°C. It is expected to outrank Jacobabad, Bahawal­nagar and Bahawalpur by that time.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 7, 2022 at 2:38pm

Flood-hit Indus Highway to be completely restored within five days, SHC told

https://www.dawn.com/news/1717383



Larkana Commissioner Ghanwar Ali Leghari informed the bench that dewatering efforts were hampered as SCARP’s pumping stations in about 12 talukas — badly affected by flooding during the recent unprecedented rainfall — could not be operated for want of uninterrupted electric supply.


The irrigation secretary assured the bench that all talukas would be cleared of stagnant water within the next 30 days.

The court asked the Sukkur Electric Supply Company (Sepco) chief executive officer to make sure that pumping stations were supplied uninterrupted power till the draining of water in these talukas. The officials were also asked to arrange for power generators to run the pumping stations and also identify the areas where Sepco should ensure proper power supply.

National Highways Authority (NHA) officials submitted in court that barring a few sections, Indus Highway was opened for vehicles. They said the remaining sections would be mended within the next four-five days.

The bench was also informed that the ‘ring bund’ raised to save Dadu and Mehar towns from ravage of floodwaters had since been removed.

The bench appreciated the irrigation department, NHA and local administration for their efforts in restoring the Indus Highway between Mehar and Kakar, though except for a few sections.

The court also asked the deputy commissioners of Larkana, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Kandhkot-Kashmore and Dadu, in their capacity as district directors of Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA), to ensure provision of food and health facilities to displaced people living in tent cities. Larkana district health officers were directed to provide adequate medicines to these people.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 7, 2022 at 5:42pm

Parties at COP27 Add Loss and Damage to the Agenda, But Won’t Discuss Which Countries Are Responsible or Who Should Pay
After enduring unprecedented climate disasters, Pakistan pushed talks about the costs of climate change onto the agenda. The U.N. secretary general calls the discussions a “moral imperative.”
Zoha Tunio
By Zoha Tunio
November 7, 2022


https://insideclimatenews.org/news/07112022/cop27-loss-and-damage-p...


SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt—The United Nations climate summit officially opened on Sunday with the addition of negotiations over funding to compensate nations for “loss and damage” funding as an official agenda item.

Inclusion of the controversial topic—which poorer countries that are enduring the greatest harms from climate change see as critical to fairness in addressing global warming, and wealthy nations that have produced the vast majority of the emissions driving those damages have long resisted—required negotiations through the night leading up to the opening of the conference. And the victory is only partial for the parties advocating to include loss and damage in the negotiations, as the agenda item does not include discussions of how to determine liability or payments for the harms of human-caused climate change.

The agenda item was proposed by Pakistan, which in recent months incurred heavy losses in unprecedented floods that covered a third of the country, during talks in Bonn earlier this year in the leadup to the U.N.’s 27th Conference of the Parties opening this week. It is the first time in the history of the U.N. climate summits that parties in the negotiations have reached a consensus to include funding for loss and damage as an official agenda item.

“My country, Pakistan, has seen floods that have left 33 million lives in tatters and have caused loss and damage amounting to 10 percent of the GDP,” said Ambassador Munir Akram, the 2022 chair of the G77—a group of 134 developing countries, many of which are on the front lines of climate change—at the opening ceremony for COP27, where he urged that a finance mechanism be dedicated to addressing losses and damages. Pakistan recently has experienced a series of extreme weather events, including an extended heatwave in March when temperatures in the south rose close to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

In his opening remarks at the conference, United Nations Secretary General Anotonio Gutteres called for international solidarity, but also a recognition that the populations that have done little to cause global warming bear the brunt of its impacts. “Those who contributed least to the climate crisis are reaping the whirlwind sown by others,” he said.

But even as loss and damage discussions are now expected to feature prominently during this year’s conference, the adoption of the agenda item did not come without caveats. To reach consensus, negotiators had to take discussions of liability and compensation off the table. That’s prompted concerns that the damages from climate change to developing nations could continue to be paid for with humanitarian aid, rather than from funds set aside by the wealthy nations that have done the most to cause the warming.

But civil society organizations and environmental activists say financial support for countries at the frontlines of climate change should not be charity.

“It has to come from reparations,” said Mohamed Adow, founder and director of Power Shift Africa, a civil society organization geared toward mobilizing climate action.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 7, 2022 at 5:43pm

Parties at COP27 Add Loss and Damage to the Agenda, But Won’t Discuss Which Countries Are Responsible or Who Should Pay
After enduring unprecedented climate disasters, Pakistan pushed talks about the costs of climate change onto the agenda. The U.N. secretary general calls the discussions a “moral imperative.”
Zoha Tunio
By Zoha Tunio
November 7, 2022


https://insideclimatenews.org/news/07112022/cop27-loss-and-damage-p...



Loss and damage was highlighted earlier this year in the Sixth Assessment Report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and became a topic of intense discussion across the globe following the devastating floods in Pakistan. But the countries in the Global North are yet to accept responsibility. In a statement prior to COP27, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry expressed concern about how the shifting focus on loss and damage “could delay our ability to do the most important thing of all, which is [to] achieve mitigation sufficient to reduce the level of adaptation.”

Still, as science increasingly shows how costly disasters in the developing world are driven by global warming caused by wealthy nations, those advocating to attribute liability for losses and damages for climate change and determine appropriate reparations are pressing their arguments.

“Climate attribution is on our side, we can now say Pakistan’s floods were triggered by climate change, which is largely caused by the Global North, but that translates into nothing until they admit fault,” Ahmad Rafay Alam, environmental lawyer and member of the Pakistan delegation at COP27, told Inside Climate News.

Pakistan’s floods this year caused more than $30 billion in damages. The climate catastrophe triggered conversations about loss and damage financing and climate reparations across the Global South. While the adoption of loss and damage as an agenda item is being hailed as a win for Pakistan and the G77, delegates, activists and civil society members remain skeptical about the outcomes of the conference.

“If the liability is not there then who will finance these loss and damage mechanisms?” said Muhammad Arif Goheer, the lead negotiator for Pakistan and the principal scientific officer in the nation’s Ministry of Climate Change. “We may not reach a decision on this anytime soon.”

Despite the skepticism, Pakistan’s delegation is determined to highlight loss and damage financing through the negotiating process. And they have significant support.

U.N. Secretary General Guterres, in a joint press conference alongside Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, urged nations to make global commitments towards loss and damage. “The international community has a duty towards Pakistan,” he said.

But, as with many other issues in the climate negotiations, success in the discussions of loss and damage will be measured by the concrete steps that all the nations agree to take—consensus that historically has been hard to come by.

“The litmus test of this and every future COP is how far deliberations are accompanied by action,” said Simon Stiell, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, at the opening plenary. “Everybody, every single day, everywhere in the world, needs to do everything they possibly can to avert the climate crisis.”

For the Pakistan delegation, and many others from developing nations, this means pushing for a roadmap to establish loss and damage financing mechanisms. “If we’re able to push the conversation forward that will be a move in the right direction,” said Goheer.

This story was produced as part of the 2022 Climate Change Media Partnership, a journalism fellowship organized by Internews’ Earth Journalism Network and the Stanley Center for Peace and Security.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 13, 2022 at 8:17am

These Countries Have Pledged Loss & Damage Finance at UN Climate Change Conference COP27

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/loss-and-damage-announceme...

On Monday, Belgium’s Minister for Development Cooperation Frank Vandenbroucke said the country would provide €2.5 million (around US$2.5 million) in loss and damage funding for Mozambique, with the money expected to provide the climate-vulnerable East African nation with storm warning systems and advanced intel on at-risk coastal areas.

Austria’s Climate Ministry announced it would allocate €50 million from its existing budget over the next four years to fund loss and damage in the world’s most vulnerable countries, with Climate Minister Leonore Gewessler claiming her country was “becoming a pioneer in international climate financing.”


New Zealand joined Belgium and Austria, committing NZ$20 million (almost US$12 million) to loss and damage globally.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Germany would provide €170 million to the Global Shield Against Climate Risks initiative — a fund dedicated to providing climate risk insurance and prevention support for at-risk nations. Just over €80 million will be devoted to the “central financing structure” of the shield, with the rest for “complementary” climate risk programs.

On Wednesday, Canada joined Belgium, Austria, New Zealand, and Germany by redefining its climate spending, announcing that $24 million (about US$18 million) from the nation’s former $5.3 billion International Climate Finance Commitment would be dedicated to the “needs and priorities of developing countries.”

Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland Micheál Martin committed €10 million to the Global Shield initiative.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 13, 2022 at 5:31pm

COP27: India thwarts attempt to club it with historical polluters
In the run-up to COP27, India had said the MWP cannot be allowed to "change the goal posts" set by the Paris Agreement

https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/cop27-india-thwarts-attempt-...

Supported by other developing countries, India blocked an attempt by rich nations to focus on all top 20 emitters of carbon dioxide during discussions on the 'Mitigation Work Programme' at the ongoing U.N. climate summit in Egypt, sources said on Monday.

During the first week of the climate talks, developed countries desired that all top 20 emitters, including India and China, discuss intense emission cuts and not just the rich nations which are historically responsible for climate change, they said.

There are developing countries in the top 20 emitters, including India, that are not responsible for warming that has already occurred.

According to the sources, India pushed back the attempt with the support of like-minded developing countries, including China, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bhutan.

The "MWP should not lead to the reopening of the Paris Agreement" which clearly mentions that climate commitments of countries have to be nationally determined based on circumstances, India and other developing countries reportedly said.

At COP26 in Glasgow last year, parties acknowledged that a 45% reduction in global CO2 emissions by 2030 (as compared to 2010 levels) is required to limit average global temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius.

Accordingly, they agreed to develop a Mitigation Work Programme (MWP) to "urgently scale up mitigation ambition and implementation". Mitigation means reducing emissions, ambition means setting stronger targets and implementation means meeting new and existing goals.

Coming into COP27, developing countries had raised concerns that rich nations, through the MWP, will push them to revise their climate targets without enhancing the supply of technology and finance.

In the run-up to COP27, India had said the MWP cannot be allowed to "change the goal posts" set by the Paris Agreement.

"In the Mitigation Work Programme, best practices, new technologies and new modes of collaboration for technology transfer and capacity building may be discussed fruitfully," the Union Environment Ministry had said.

An analysis by Carbon Brief shows the U.S. has released more than 509 Gt CO2 since 1850 and is responsible for the largest share of historical emissions, with some 20% of the global total. China is a relatively distant second, with 11%, followed by Russia (7%). India is in seventh place, with 3.4% of the cumulative total.

Earth's global surface temperature has increased by around 1.15 degree Celsius as compared to the pre-industrial (1850–1900) average and the CO2 spewed into the atmosphere since the start of the industrial revolution is closely tied to it. Major damage had already been done before 1990 when economies like India started to develop.

According to "Global Carbon Budget Report 2022", more than half of the world's CO2 emissions in 2021 were from three places — China (31%), the U.S. (14%), and the European Union (8%). At the fourth spot, India accounted for 7% of the global CO2 emissions.

However, at 2.4 tCO2e (tonne carbon dioxide equivalent), India's per capita greenhouse gas emissions are far below the world average of 6.3 tCO2e, according to a report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) last month.

Per capita emissions in the U.S. (14 tCO2e) are far above the global average, followed by Russia (13 tCO2e), China (9.7 tCO2e), Brazil and Indonesia (around 7.5 tCO2e each), and the European Union (7.2 tCO2e).

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 14, 2022 at 4:08pm

As the Cop27 global climate conference began its second week in Sharm El Sheikh on Monday, a new funding initiative to help poorer nations handle the effects of climate change was launched by G7 nations.


https://www.thenationalnews.com/climate/cop27/2022/11/14/global-shi...

Called Global Shield, the new mechanism is backed by the V20 group of climate-vulnerable nations and will initially receive more than €200 million ($206m) in funding, mostly from Germany.

At Cop27, the issue of loss and damage was listed on the agenda for the first time ever at a UN climate conference.

Climate-vulnerable countries say wealthy industrialised nations should help to pay for irreversible damage from floods, storms and rising seas, after decades of emissions caused global temperatures to rise.

The Global Shield, co-ordinated by G7 president Germany, aims to provide climate-vulnerable countries with rapid access to insurance and disaster protection funding after floods or drought.

It is being developed in collaboration with 58 climate-vulnerable economies to bring together climate risk finance and preparedness.

The fund will both help nations prepare for climate change and respond to natural disasters sparked by rising temperatures.

"Climate-related disasters have devastating impacts on poor people in particular," said Svenja Schulze, Germany's Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development.

"They often do not have the means to protect themselves and their homes, fields or businesses against extreme weather and can lose their entire possessions when a disaster strikes."

She stressed that the scheme was not "a tactic" to sidestep calls for a specific loss and damage funding mechanism.

"The Global Shield isn't the one and only solution for loss and damage, certainly not," she said, adding that more funding will be needed to cover more countries.

"Those most affected by climate impacts need practical action now."


Ireland's Taoiseach Micheal Martin also committed €10 million, telling the gathered diplomats and world leaders that what were "once exceptional events are now occurring with increased frequency and ferocity. People in the poorest parts of our planet are being driven from regions that can no longer support and sustain them”.

France stumped up an initial $20 million, saying its total commitment would be $60 million over three years. Canada and Denmark will contribute $7 million and $4.7 million respectively.

US President Joe Biden has also backed the plan.

As the conference continues, Germany will be hoping for more contributions, but some are sceptical.

EU negotiator Jacob Werksman said talks were not ready to agree on a single funding solution, but he hoped the Cop27 summit would achieve more than just scheduling further talks on climate compensation.

"We don't think that this process is ready to agree in principle that a new fund or facility is the right or the only way forward," he said.

A statement issued by Germany on Monday listed Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Fiji, Ghana, Pakistan, the Philippines and Senegal as some of the initial recipients of Global Shield packages, although 58 nations are in talks over the programme.

Those packages would be developed in the coming months, Germany said.

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 14, 2022 at 4:13pm

As the Cop27 global climate conference began its second week in Sharm El Sheikh on Monday, a new funding initiative to help poorer nations handle the effects of climate change was launched by G7 nations.


https://www.thenationalnews.com/climate/cop27/2022/11/14/global-shi...


A statement issued by Germany on Monday listed Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Fiji, Ghana, Pakistan, the Philippines and Senegal as some of the initial recipients of Global Shield packages, although 58 nations are in talks over the programme.

Those packages would be developed in the coming months, Germany said.

Ghana’s Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta called it “a path-breaking effort” that would help protect communities when lives and livelihoods are lost.

But civil society groups were sceptical, warning that the programme should not be used as a way to distract from the much broader effort to get big polluters to pay for the loss and damage they have already caused with their greenhouse gases.

Poorer, vulnerable nations also want financing to help them shift to clean energy and for projects to adapt to global warming.

Teresa Anderson of ActionAid International said the scheme showed that the global community recognised the need to act on loss and damage, but said it was a "distraction" from negotiations on a dedicated funding mechanism for climate damages.

"Everyone knows that insurance companies, by their very nature, are either reluctant to provide coverage, or reluctant to pay out," she said. "But when it comes to loss and damage, this is a matter of life and death."

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 15, 2022 at 7:17am

Pakistan's lost city of 40,000 people

https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20221114-pakistans-lost-city-of-...


In the dusty plains of present-day Sindh in southern Pakistan lie the remains of one of the world's most impressive ancient cities (Moenjo-Daro)that most people have never heard of.

-----


Now, several thousand years later, the city is once again in danger after devastating super floods hit Pakistan in August 2022. Dr Asma Ibrahim, an archaeologist and museologist who's been involved in preservation work all over the country, confirmed that while Mohenjo-daro had been damaged, the flooding to the site was less than archaeologists had originally feared.

-------------


I was about an hour outside of the dusty town of Larkana in southern Pakistan at the historical site of Mohenjo-daro. While today only ruins remain, 4,500 years ago this was not only one of the world's earliest cities, but a thriving metropolis featuring highly advanced infrastructures.

Mohenjo-daro – which means "mound of the dead men" in Sindhi – was the largest city of the once-flourishing Indus Valley (also known as Harappan) Civilisation that ruled from north-east Afghanistan to north-west India during the Bronze Age. Believed to have been inhabited by at least 40,000 people, Mohenjo-daro prospered from 2500 to 1700 BCE.

"It was an urban centre that had social, cultural, economic and religious linkages with Mesopotamia and Egypt," explained Irshad Ali Solangi, a local guide who is the third generation of his family to work at Mohenjo-daro.

But compared to the cities of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, which thrived around the same time, few have heard of Mohenjo-daro. By 1700 BCE, it was abandoned, and to this day, no-one is sure exactly why the inhabitants left or where they went.

Archaeologists first came across the ancient city in 1911 after hearing reports of some brickwork in the area. However, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) dismissed the bricks as not having any kind of antiquity and the site remained undisturbed for several more years. It wasn't until 1922 that R D Banerji, an ASI officer, believed he saw a buried stupa, a mound-like structure where Buddhists typically meditate. This led to large-scale excavations – most notably by British archaeologist Sir John Marshall – and the eventual naming of Mohenjo-daro as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1980. The remains they uncovered revealed a level of urbanisation not previously seen in history, with Unesco lauding Mohenjo-daro as the "best preserved" ruin of the Indus Valley.

Perhaps the city's most surprising feature was a sanitation system that was far beyond its contemporaries. While drainage and private toilets were seen in Egypt and Mesopotamia, they were luxuries of the rich. In Mohenjo-daro, concealed toilets and covered drains were everywhere. Since excavations began, more than 700 wells have been recovered, in addition to a system of private baths, including a 12m x 7m "Great Bath" for communal use. Incredibly, toilets were found in many private residences, and waste was covertly disposed of through a sophisticated, city-wide sewage system.

------

Mohenjo-daro's ability to master the arts of sanitation and sewage disposal were not the only advanced features that set the inhabitants apart from other early civilisations. Archaeologists have noted the use of standardised building materials, despite a dearth of machines.

"All the bricks have a ratio of 4:2:1, even if they are not of the same shape," Rizvi explained. "It's important to recognise that all these bricks are following a sensibility of sorts. There's a sense of what they want their city to look like. If you make everything to a ratio, even the spaces that you are walking through then inherently follow a certain sensibility of a ratio as well."

Comment by Riaz Haq on November 19, 2022 at 4:50pm

#India, the world's 3rd largest polluter, binges on #coal, outpaces #Asia. India's coal-fired #electricity output has increased much faster than any other country in the Asia since #Russia's invasion of #Ukraine. #Carbon #cop27egypt #SharmElSheikh https://www.thedailystar.net/business/global-economy/indian/news/in...

Coal fuels nearly three-quarters of the power output of India, which presented its decarbonisation strategy at the United Nation's COP27 climate summit this week - the last of the world's five largest economies to do so.

For all latest news, follow The Daily Star's Google News channel.
Use of coal globally, including in power generation, has grown since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in late February sent prices of other fossil fuels surging, derailing efforts to transition to cleaner fuels.

But the increase in India's coal-fired power output has outstripped its regional peers, data from the government and analysts showed.

---
India's coal-fired power output increased more than 10 per cent year-on-year from March to October to 757.82 terawatt hours, an analysis of government data shows, as electricity demand increased off the back of a heatwave and pickup in economic activity.

The government expects this output to grow at the fastest pace in at least a decade in the current fiscal year ending March 2023.


An analysis of data from independent think tank Ember shows India's surge in coal-fired output for the March-to-August period was 14 times faster than the average in Asia Pacific.

The heat wave and economic revival following the pandemic meant overall electricity demand grew twice as fast as rest of the region, Ember's data shows.

The European Union was the only region where coal-fired power output grew at a rate faster than India, the Ember data says, as nations in the region scrambled to reduce their reliance on Russian supplies.

India is also the only major country in Asia, besides Japan, where the contribution of coal-fired power in overall electricity production increased in the six months since March, the data shows.

India wants countries to agree to phase down all fossil fuels at the COP27 summit, rather than a narrower deal to phase down coal as was agreed last year.

State-run Coal India, the country's dominant coal miner, ramped up production to meet the utility demand. It reported a 13.5 per cent year-on-year increase in its coal output in March-October to a record high of 432 million tonnes.

Imports of thermal coal, predominantly used in power generation, rose by more than a quarter in the same period, double the pace seen in the pre-Covid years between 2017 to 2019, data from consultancy Coalmint showed.

"Like in China, Indian coal-fired generation will be correlated with Indian power demand – if total demand increases, then more coal-fired generation will be needed," said Jake Horslen, an analyst at Energy Aspects.

In China, the government's strict "Covid-zero" policy and resulting restrictions, plus increased use of renewable and hydro sources of power generation, led to a decline in coal use.

Consultancy Wood Mackenzie expects India's coal-fired power output to grow 10 per cent in 2022 compared to the previous year. China's generation from the polluting fuel is expected to decline marginally.

India's government has said it was committed to achieve net zero emissions by 2070, and official data reviewed by Reuters shows that renewable energy generation grew 21 per cent in March to October, even as coal use for power increased.

India is expected to add up to 360 gigawatts of power generation capacity from clean energy sources to its overall output over the next decade, said Hetal Gandhi, director of research at CRISIL Market Intelligence. "This would help lower coal's contribution in generation by 40-45 per cent by fiscal 2032," he said.

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