India's Coal Sector's Greening Initiatives

Why in the News?

The Ministry of Coal has mandated that vegetation be planted on more than 2400 hectares of land adjacent to and surrounding coalfields.

  • Between 2022 and 2023, more than 50 lakh saplings are anticipated to be planted.

Importance of the coal sector going green

  • The coal industry's environmental initiatives support India's NDC commitment to increase forest and tree cover by 2030 to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
  • Encourages the use of coal in a manner compatible with measures taken to safeguard the environment, preserve natural resources, care for society, and protect our forests and wildlife.
  • Supports efforts to meet the twin challenges of meeting the nation's rising energy demand, which would rely primarily on coal, and upholding commitments to decarbonize the energy sector.

The government's recent actions include:

  • Vriksharopan Abhiyan is a project run by the Ministry of Coal (MoC) that involves all coal/lignite CPSU mining areas. 
  • The Abhiyan's free distribution of saplings to residents and organizations improves plantation and educates the host community about the value of planting. 
  • Activities like plantations near mines and overburden dumps, ecological reclamation of mined-out land, and mining-related waste disposal are done to reduce the mining industry's environmental impact after it has stopped.
  • To reduce noise, a green belt is built around the construction of roads, mines, and other sources of air pollution.
  • Mine water is used for irrigation, and CIL, SCCL, and NLCIL's mining subsidiaries also supply treated drinking water to rural residents in and near the command area.
  • Reduced carbon footprint and reduced environmental pollution are benefits of First Mile Connectivity (FMC), a technique that prevents the transportation of coal over roads.
  • The development of 10 new Eco-Parks in various mining regions is at various stages.
  • To achieve electricity independence through renewable energy, CIL has set a goal to build 3 GW of Solar PV projects by FY24.

What initiatives does India have in relation to climate change?

  • Transportation Sector Reforms:
    • With the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles Scheme, India is hastening its transition to e-mobility.
    • The existing programs can be supplemented with a voluntary vehicle scrapping policy to phase out outdated vehicles gradually.
  • India's Support for EVs: 
  • The international EV30@30 campaign, which seeks to have at least 30% of new vehicle sales be electric by 2030, is supported by a select group of countries, including India.
    • At the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP26 in Glasgow, India pledged to uphold the five "Panchamrit" elements for combating climate change.
  • Governmental programs' role
    • Eighty-eight million households have switched from using coal-based cooking fuel to LPG connections thanks to the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.
  • Industries' Contribution to the Low-Carbon Transition:
    • With the aid of rising investor and customer awareness and escalating regulatory and disclosure requirements, India's public and private sectors are already playing a significant role in addressing the climate challenge.
  • The mission for Hydrogen Energy:
    • Concentrate on using renewable energy sources to produce hydrogen.
  • Performance, Achievement, and Trading (PAT)
    • It is a market-based mechanism for promoting energy efficiency in significant energy-intensive industries and accelerating their growth.


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