Coal will remain an important part of India’s energy needs: govt official

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Coal will remain India’s main source of energy for years to come, a top government official said on Thursday, underscoring its commitment to the use of the fossil fuel as the U.N.’s COP28 climate summit opens in Dubai.

“Coal is, and would, remain an important part of India’s energy needs,” Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra told reporters ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s trip to Dubai.

Reuters reported that India, which depends on coal for 73% of its energy needs, is scrambling to add 17 gigawatts of coal-based power generation capacity at its fastest pace in recent years to meet a record increase in power demand.

India and China oppose any attempt to block construction of coal-fired power stations for their energy-hungry economies, while France, backed by the United States, plans to seek a halt to private financing for these plants at COP28, sources said.

Kwatra said India expects a clear roadmap on climate financing at COP28 and has always been upfront about its support for a “loss-and-damage” fund aimed at helping countries recover from environmental degradation caused by industrial development.

“Loss and damage fund will be of great benefit to developing countries,” he added.

(Reporting by Sarita Chaganti Singh; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Miral Fahmy)

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