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Concerns that power ambitions could derail climate change goals

Reporter: Ravinder Bawa 丨 CCTV.com

12-09-2014 12:00 BJT

Full coverage: UN Climate Change Conference 2014

India in one of the most polluted countries in the world, and the situation appears to be worsening. Cases of lung-related diseases are increasing, leading to calls for measures to deal with air pollution.

Delhi is covered with smog at any time of the day.

"When the wind blows the ash blows with it," says a Jaipur resident named Diwan Dutt.

"The people in our area have many lung related diseases," said a Jaipur resident named Birender Kumar.

Children are worst affected. The government is not equipped to deal with the rising air pollution, and so children such as Jatin try to find their own solutions.

"I am covering my face because of the dust which bothers me and I fall ill," he says.

Government figures show that more than 40 people die in Delhi every day of respiratory diseases.

At the Supreme Court of India, while listening to a public interest litigation on air pollution, a judge allowed that a monitoring machine be brought in to the court room to measure the pollution inside, and it was found to be four times higher than normal.

Measures are being taken to tackle air pollution, but the new government has new priorities.

"We will ensure quick action thereafter to get coal production significantly enhanced and to meet our government's target of one billion tonnes coal by 2019 to ensure that every power plant in this country gets adequate coal," said Piyush Goyal, minister of State for Power, Coal and New Energy.

Experts fear that this coal rush will derail the climate change agenda. India needs a two-track strategy that gives both public health benefits and climate mitigation benefits.

India will have to take a more judicious and a careful path. If it wants to expand its coal based generation, it has to use clean technology and simultaneously ensure that it is able to expand its renewable energy program.


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