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Why Greenpeace is first on the chopping block ?

WHY GREENPEACE IS FIRST ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK

As Greenpeace India struggles to stay afloat, the real reason why the government wants to shut down the global environmental NGO hasn’t got much attention: Coal.

india-spend (4)

As Greenpeace India struggles to stay afloat, the real reason why the government wants to shut down the global environmental NGO hasn’t got much attention: Coal, the single biggest source of primary energy in India, is at the heart of the Narendra Modi government’s ambitious plans to ramp up industrial production in the country.

#mustread" data-image-description="<p>October 19, 2013, The Hindu</p> <ul>Nithya V. Raman</ul> <ul>Priti Narayan</ul> <div></div> <div></div> <div><img title="" alt="" src="http://www.thehindu.com/multimedia/dynamic/01623/19TH_EDPAGE_SKETCH_1623013f.jpg" width="636" height="405" /></div> <div></div> <div> <div></div> <div> <h2>Denying basic amenities to residents of ‘unrecognised’ slums is an affront to their dignity; resettling them fails to address their concerns and is unviable financially</h2> </div> <p>Since 2005, the <a class="zem_slink" title="London" href="http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=51.5072222222,-0.1275&amp;spn=0.1,0.1&amp;q=51.5072222222,-0.1275 (London)&amp;t=h" target="_blank" rel="geolocation">Central</a> government has given significant amounts of money to <a class="zem_slink" title="United States" href="http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=38.8833333333,-77.0166666667&amp;spn=10.0,10.0&amp;q=38.8833333333,-77.0166666667 (United%20States)&amp;t=h" target="_blank" rel="geolocation">the States</a> to improve conditions for the country’s urban poor, first under the <a class="zem_slink" title="Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jawaharlal_Nehru_National_Urban_Renewal_Mission" target="_blank" rel="wikipedia">Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission</a> (JNNURM) and more recently through the slow-moving Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY). Unfortunately, very few studies have looked at how effective these programmes have been in achieving their objectives. Our research in <a class="zem_slink" title="Chennai" href="http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=13.0838888889,80.27&amp;spn=0.1,0.1&amp;q=13.0838888889,80.27 (Chennai)&amp;t=h" target="_blank" rel="geolocation">Chennai</a> suggests that money from the JNNURM did not effectively address the needs of the city’s most vulnerable residents.</p> <p>How could this happen in a programme explicitly designed for this purpose, and in a State known for its generosity to the poor? This is because Chennai faces a problem common to many cities across India: it has two tiers of slums — those with official government recognition and those without, and the JNNURM did not push cities hard enough to directly intervene in slum areas without recognition.</p> <h3>No action since 1985</h3> <p>According to the <a class="zem_slink" title="Tamil Nadu" href="http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=13.09,80.27&amp;spn=1.0,1.0&amp;q=13.09,80.27 (Tamil%20Nadu)&amp;t=h" target="_blank" rel="geolocation">Tamil Nadu</a> Slum Clearance Act of 1971, the government is supposed to identify slums, officially recognise them as slums, and then improve these areas. As soon as the Act was passed, the Board identified and recognised 1,202 slums in Chennai, and added another 17 slums to the list in 1985. All of these slums were improved <i>in situ</i>, either by building tenements or by providing basic services. However, in a sharp break with this progressive history towards the urban poor, not a single new slum has been officially recognised in the city since 1985.</p> <p>In the nearly three decades that have passed, hundreds of new slums have come up in the city. Unfortunately, because the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Act states that you must recognise a slum before you can intervene in it, government programmes to increase access to services for the poor, including the JNNURM, have not directly intervened in these areas — with predictably tragic results. Very little reliable information actually exists about these unrecognised slums but we found one study on them commissioned by the <a class="zem_slink" title="Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board" href="http://tnscb.org.in/" target="_blank" rel="homepage">Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board</a> in 2002. The study found a total of 444 unrecognised slums within the <a class="zem_slink" title="Chennai Metropolitan Area" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chennai_Metropolitan_Area" target="_blank" rel="wikipedia">Chennai Metropolitan Area</a>, with nearly half a million residents at the time, and an average of 620 people relying on a single public water facility in unrecognised slums within the city, far more than the norm of 75 people per water facility. Such numbers are shameful. What they show is that these unrecognised slums have effectively become an invisible Chennai, not counted in the official statistics of slum-dwellers used in the Master Plan and by the Slum Clearance Board, and largely ignored by the service provision agencies.</p> <h3>Indirect response</h3> <p>The government’s only response to such slums has been indirect. Rather than recognising them and improving residents’ access to services, the Board has constructed large-scale resettlement colonies on the outskirts of the city on land it already owns in Semmenchery, Kannagi Nagar, and now in Perumbakkam. Unrecognised slums, since they have no land rights, are regularly evicted, and eligible families (those with the required paperwork) are housed in the resettlement colonies. In fact, more than 75 per cent of spending for the urban poor under the JNNURM has gone towards building these colonies, and recent news reports suggest that the Slum Clearance Board is planning to build a total of 1,25,000 such units across the State, in part with funding from RAY.</p> <h3>Poor policy</h3> <p>However, this response is inadequate. Both the media and civil society organisations have documented the extreme trauma faced by families evicted to these colonies. What has not been highlighted so far is that building resettlement colonies is just poor policymaking. Resettlement housing is expensive: according to policy notes, costs have increased from Rs. 4.5 lakh to 7.5 lakh per house over the last few years, and building homes for all the 100,000 odd families identified in unrecognised slums in the 2002 report alone would cost the city more than $1 billion.</p> <p>Moreover, many residents do not seem to want such housing: news reports find that nearly 20 per cent of allotted homes in Kannagi Nagar are vacant and 50 per cent of the original beneficiaries are no longer living in them.</p> <p>Most importantly, building adequate amounts of resettlement housing to house all slum-dwellers will simply take too long. Based on the Slum Clearance Board’s rate of construction so far, building housing for all the families in unrecognised slums identified in 2002 alone would take 40 years, and there would be even more families now. Must these families be denied their basic dignity for so long?</p> <h3>Reasonable strategy</h3> <p>A far more reasonable strategy would be to once again implement the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Act in the spirit that it was written, and start to recognise slums and improve them <i>in situ</i>.</p> <p>Government officials frequently cite the lack of land in central city areas to justify the absence of slum recognition in the last three decades. But the 2002 study highlighted another extraordinary fact: all the unrecognised slums in the Chennai Metropolitan Area at the time together only took up 4.8 sq km, just 1.1 per cent of the area of the expanded Chennai Corporation. Even if some resettlement is required, <a class="zem_slink" title="Right to Information Act" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_Information_Act" target="_blank" rel="wikipedia">Right to Information Act</a> petitions have revealed that there are nearly 11 square kilometres of unused land available under the <a class="zem_slink" title="Urban Land Ceiling Act (India)" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urban_Land_Ceiling_Act_%28India%29" target="_blank" rel="wikipedia">Urban Land Ceiling Act</a> in small pockets all over the city so that slum-dwellers can be resettled nearby, avoiding the trauma of far-away resettlement.</p> <h3>Lack of political will</h3> <p>Clearly, what the city lacks is not land but political will. In the early 1970s, when the Board was first created, the State government passed orders transferring the land on which slums sat to the Slum Clearance Board. The massive allocations under the JNNURM for the urban poor were an opportunity to create the political will for transferring land to slum-dwellers once again, but the Central government chose to fund resettlement colonies instead. Unless the Central government uses programmes like the JNNURM and RAY to incentivise State and city governments to intervene directly in unrecognised slums, it will risk leaving hundreds of thousands of residents without basic services for decades to come.</p> <p><i>(The authors are researchers at the Transparent Chennai project at the <a class="zem_slink" title="Institute for Financial Management and Research" href="http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=13.06295,80.238588&amp;spn=1.0,1.0&amp;q=13.06295,80.238588 (Institute%20for%20Financial%20Management%20and%20Research)&amp;t=h" target="_blank" rel="geolocation">Institute for Financial Management and Research</a>)</i></p> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="zemanta-pixie" style="margin-top: 10px; height: 15px;"><a class="zemanta-pixie-a" title="Enhanced by Zemanta" href="http://www.zemanta.com/?px"><img class="zemanta-pixie-img" style="border: none; float: right;" alt="Enhanced by Zemanta" src="http://img.zemanta.com/zemified_h.png?x-id=b288faf9-dc5a-4bc0-b125-71a7bf899f02" /></a></div> " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" class=" size-full wp-image-27519 aligncenter" src="http://www.indiaspend.com/wp-content/uploads/155.png" alt="1" width="290" height="296" />Source: World Resources Institute

A total of 1,199 new coal-based thermal power plants with a total installed capacity of more than 1.4 million MW proposed worldwide, the lion’s share—455 plants—are in India, according to data from the World Resources Institute.

India is overwhelmingly dependent on fossil fuels—coal, oil and gas—which meet more than three fourths of the country’s energy needs, despite Modi’s plans to promote alternative energy sources.

Of the fossil fuels, oil and gas account for just about 30% of India’s energy needs, the bulk imported (80% in the case of crude oil). India has abundant reserves of coal, the fourth-largest in the world.

2Source: PwC

Coal meets 54.5% of India’s energy needs, and 61.5% of the installed power generation capacity, and plays a key role in industries like steel and cement.

India is set to more than double its coal consumption by 2035 and become the world’s largest coal importer by around 2020, according to the International Energy Agency.

The cheapest of fossil fuels, coal is also the most polluting in terms of carbon emissions. Coal-burning power plants are the single biggest cause of climate change, way ahead of the burning of petroleum in transportation.

Greenpeace has been at the forefront of a global campaign against coal mining and burning, and its Indian wing has mounted several high-visibility campaignsagainst coal-burning thermal power plants and coal mining in forest areas.

Coal India and Adani in the spotlight

Especially irksome to the government must have been Greenpeace’s targeting of two domestic entities that are also major global players in coal—public-sector company Coal India, India’s 5th most valuable company by market capitalisation at $35.9 billion (Rs 2.3 lakh crore) and the Gujarat-based Adani Group, whose promoter Gautam Adani is known to have a close relationship with Modi.

#mustshare" data-image-description="<p align="center"><b><span style="text-decoration: underline;">“No Sardar Sarovar until last person is rehabilitated, as per law”- MoWR</span></b><b></b></p> <p align="center"><b><span style="text-decoration: underline;"> </span></b></p> <p align="center"><b><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Water Resources <a class="zem_slink" title="Minister (government)" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minister_%28government%29" target="_blank" rel="wikipedia">Minister</a> admits rehabilitation, environmental compliance, cost-benefit appraisal necessary before raise in dam height</span></b></p> <p align="center"><b><span style="text-decoration: underline;"> </span></b></p> <p align="center"><b><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Submergence without rehabilitation illegal: Social Justice Ministry</span></b></p> <p align="center"><b><span style="text-decoration: underline;"> </span></b></p> <p align="center"><b><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Oustees meet <a class="zem_slink" title="Jairam Ramesh" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jairam_Ramesh" target="_blank" rel="wikipedia">Jairam Ramesh</a>: Demand halt to SSP at 122 mts</span></b></p> <p align="center"><b><span style="text-decoration: underline;"> </span></b></p> <p><b><span style="text-decoration: underline;"> </span></b></p> <p>Hundreds of oustees affected by the <a class="zem_slink" title="Sardar Sarovar Dam" href="http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=21.8302777778,73.7472222222&amp;spn=0.01,0.01&amp;q=21.8302777778,73.7472222222 (Sardar%20Sarovar%20Dam)&amp;t=h" target="_blank" rel="geolocation">Sardar Sarovar Dam</a> in the three states of <a class="zem_slink" title="Madhya Pradesh" href="http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=22.42,72.54&amp;spn=1.0,1.0&amp;q=22.42,72.54 (Madhya%20Pradesh)&amp;t=h" target="_blank" rel="geolocation">Madhya Pradesh</a>, Maharashtra and <a class="zem_slink" title="Gujarat" href="http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=23.2167,72.6833&amp;spn=1.0,1.0&amp;q=23.2167,72.6833 (Gujarat)&amp;t=h" target="_blank" rel="geolocation">Gujarat</a> stayed put on the streets of the national capital at <a class="zem_slink" title="Yantra Mantra" href="http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=26.9245714194,75.8242571361&amp;spn=0.01,0.01&amp;q=26.9245714194,75.8242571361 (Yantra%20Mantra)&amp;t=h" target="_blank" rel="geolocation">Jantar Mantar</a> on the second day, after an eventful day struggle and interaction with the central authorities in Delhi, who hold the key to the fate of the lives and livelihoods of lakhs of farmers, adivasis, fish workers, landless etc. in the <a class="zem_slink" title="Narmada River" href="http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=21.6510472222,72.8118888889&amp;spn=0.1,0.1&amp;q=21.6510472222,72.8118888889 (Narmada%20River)&amp;t=h" target="_blank" rel="geolocation">Narmada valley</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After almost 2 hours of an intense public action at the gates of the <b>Union</b> <b>Ministry of Water Resources, the Minister, Shri <a class="zem_slink" title="Harish Rawat" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harish_Rawat" target="_blank" rel="wikipedia">Harish Rawat</a></b>, agreed to meet a 10-member delegation of the oustees, led by <a class="zem_slink" title="Medha Patkar" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medha_Patkar" target="_blank" rel="wikipedia">Medha Patkar</a> for a detailed consultation on all the issues. As the Minister and his officials heard the presentation on the massive scale of pending rehabilitation of 48,000 families, ongoing judicial inquiry into the 1,000 crore corruption scandal in M.P. and severe non-compliance on environmental measures and dismal performance of the SSP, after an investment of 70,000 crore rupees, <b>he</b> <b><span style="text-decoration: underline;">assured the oustees that the Sardar Sarovar cannot move ahead, until the last person is rehabilitated and that his Ministry, which leads the Narmada Control Authority will have to ensure rehabilitation, environmental compliance and a comprehensive cost-benefit appraisal before permitting any raise in dam height.</span></b></p> <p><b><span style="text-decoration: underline;"> </span></b></p> <p>Shri Rawat expressed that although the primary role of his Ministry is water management and dam building, it cannot be without lawful rehabilitation. Responding to the oustees who informed him that more than 1,500 houses and thousands of hecatres of land with standing crop has been submerged illegally in the monsoon of 2012 and 2013, due to water releases from upstream dams, <b><span style="text-decoration: underline;">he admitted that there can be no submergence without rehabilitation and the people have a right to reside and cultivate their agricultural land and carry on livelihoods.</span></b>  <b><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Some of the main issues,  which he took cognizance of and directed his officers to take action, report back to him include:</span></b></p> <p><b><span style="text-decoration: underline;"> </span></b></p> <ul> <li>The Minister <b>directed his officials to seek a report</b> from the state governments, particularly Madhya Pradesh <b>on the status of compliance with the Orders of the Grievance Redressal Authorities (GRA)</b>, binding as per the Judgement of the <a class="zem_slink" title="The Honourable" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Honourable" target="_blank" rel="wikipedia">Hon’ble</a> Supreme Court.</li> <li>He took cognizance of the orders and reports with regards to the ongoing processes of inquiry into corruption by <b>Jha Commission</b> and the GRA and <b>admitted that official process itself is clear to prove that rehabilitation is far from complete.</b></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>Shri Rawat also assured that his <b>Ministry will explore ways to ensure land-based rehabilitation to all categories of oustees</b> <b>(more than 6,500)</b> including 3,000 families who have been entangled in the fake registries scam, 1,500 families who have not been able to purchase land out of the meagre cash compensation and <b>2,000 adivasis and other farmers in M.P. and Maharashtra</b>, who have not accepted cash at all, but have been given offers of uncultivable or encroached land or no offer till date !</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>Assuring Saavabehan, a displaced fish worker, he agreed and <b>assured that traditional displaced fisher families have the first and inviolable right to fisheries in the reservoir</b> and the <b>state governments are legally duty bound to register the               co-operatives of the fish workers.</b></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>The Minister also promised to look into the <b>serious issue of exclusion of 55 villages and a huge township from submergence by changing the Back Water Levels,</b> which have even been disapproved by an Expert Committee of the MoEF.</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>He agreed that the role and right of Gram Sabhas in the scheduled adivasis areas is inviolable and that <b>his Ministry / NCA will work to ensure that the PESA Act is fully complied with, in the context of the Narmada Project oustees</b>.</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>He directed officers that <b>NCA must ensure proper medical and health services in the submergence areas, especially in the hilly adivasi areas.</b></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li>He also asked the officers to present data on the funds allocated to SSP under AIBP, water availability and allocation to various industries and municipalties and for drinking water purpose as on date.</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <ul> <li><b>He also assured to look into all the issues raised by the Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar canal-affected families, in particular review of the canal network in the irrigated strip, overlapping with the Sardar Sarovar catchment. He also directed authorities to look into the land-based rehabilitation of the adivasis affected by the Jobat Dam, since a decade.</b></li> </ul> <p><b> </b></p> <ul> <li>The Minister also asked the NBA to give a separate representation on the issue of <b>illegal sand mining in the project – affected areas and he assured that concrete action would be taken in this regard.</b></li> </ul> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Submergence without rehabilitation illegal:  Secretary, Social Justice Ministry:</span></b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Later in the evening a large delegation of more than 15 oustees from various villages <b>met Shri Sudhir Bhargav, Chairperson, Resettlement and Rehabilitation Sub Group, NCA</b> and Secretary, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.  In response to the stern warning that neither the R&amp;R Sub Group, nor the NCA, can permit raise in dam height without full and faithful compliance on the lawful rehabilitation of all the families, he admitted that no final clearance has been granted to the SSP, as on date.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Oustees representing thousands of families in the 3 states informed the authorities that <b>neither the GRA of Maharashtra, not that of M.P. has given consent to raise in the dam height</b> and there is absolutely no case for permitting further construction. <b>Madhya Pradesh has fraudulently presented consultation of the ‘Former’ GRA in the last meeting of the R&amp;R Sub Group, while even as on date, there are <span style="text-decoration: underline;">hundreds of orders of the Former and Present GRA yet to be complied with</span> and hundreds of pending complaints. PAFs from Gujarat also complained about the pending issues of land allotment in the original villages and R&amp;R sites.</b></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Towards the end of the discussion, the Secretary and the joint Secretary, Ms. Gazala Meenai had to admit that the process of assessing truth and asking states to give a factual report on the status of R&amp;R is still underway and therefore, no final decision on raising the dam height bas been taken, as yet. The Secretary also expressed willingness to initiate a process of field verification in sample villages, to begin with, to assess the status of rehabilitation.</span></b><b></b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Narmada Oustees meet Jairam Ramesh:</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A delegation of oustees are to meet the Union Minister for Rural Development, Shri Jairam Ramesh, who had recently visited the submergence area in Madhya Pradesh and witnessed the scale of pending rehabilitation, irrigated areas proposed for canal excavation and illegal sand mining. <b>Welcoming his statement there shall be ‘no more Sardar Sarovar’s in India’, we urge him and the <span style="text-decoration: underline;">UPA Govt. to take a position that the SSP should be halted at 122 mts a comprehensive review ensured.</span> As a Minister who has looked into the Project in detail and has himself written to Mr. Narendra Modi on the environmental non-compliance, he must initiate this process, we insist.</b></p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;">We would also like to convey our <b>anger with the M.P. Government which pressurized the MoRD to exclude progressive provisions of social impact assessment and at least 1 acre land in the command area only for oustees of irrigation projects, </b>much against M.P’s own law</span>, which promises the same, since 1985. Certain issues related to the new enactment on the role of Gram Sabhas was also raised with the Minister.</p> <p><b> </b></p> <p><b>Struggle receives support from various quarters: </b><b><i>Acclaimed writers, academicians, advocates and supporters including Arundhati Roy, Dr. Annie Raja, National president, NFIW, Prof, Manoranjan Mohanty, Delhi University, Dr. Prakash Jha, environmental expert, Ms. Sagari Chhabra and Sanjay Kak, prominent documentary film makers, Kumar Prashant of Gandhi Peace Foundation, Shri  Ravindra Gupta of the All India Railway Caterers Association and others visited the dharna site and expressed their solidarity with the struggle of the people in the valley, who are determined to  continue their struggle on every front, until all the issues are addressed.</i></b></p> <p><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b>The Narmada oustees challenging the illegal sand mining in the valley also expressed support to the struggles of Jazeera from Kerala, who has also been fighting the mining mafia in her home districts Kannur, and Kailash Meena from Rajasthan who is also struggling against the stone quarries. Both of them were felicitated at the dharna for their brave campaigns.</b></p> <p><b><i> </i></b></p> <p><b>                              <wbr />                              <wbr />       </b><b></b></p> <p>Devising                          Kamla Yadav                   Meera                    Kuwarsing</p> <p><b>Contact Ph:  </b>09212587159</p> <div></div> <p>—</p> <h6 class="zemanta-related-title" style="font-size: 1em;">Related articles</h6> <ul class="zemanta-article-ul zemanta-article-ul-image" style="margin: 0; padding: 0; overflow: hidden;"> <li class="zemanta-article-ul-li-image zemanta-article-ul-li" style="padding: 0; background: none; list-style: none; display: block; float: left; vertical-align: top; text-align: left; width: 84px; font-size: 11px; margin: 2px 10px 10px 2px;"><a style="box-shadow: 0px 0px 4px #999; padding: 2px; display: block; border-radius: 2px; text-decoration: none;" href="http://www.kractivist.org/narendra-modis-bogus-propoganda-on-sardar-sarovar-dam-in-bhopal/" target="_blank"><img style="padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;" alt="" src="http://i.zemanta.com/205461237_80_80.jpg" /></a><a style="display: block; overflow: hidden; text-decoration: none; line-height: 12pt; height: 80px; padding: 5px 2px 0 2px;" href="http://www.kractivist.org/narendra-modis-bogus-propoganda-on-sardar-sarovar-dam-in-bhopal/" target="_blank">Narendra Modi’s bogus propoganda on Sardar Sarovar Dam in Bhopal</a></li> <li class="zemanta-article-ul-li-image zemanta-article-ul-li" style="padding: 0; background: none; list-style: none; display: block; float: left; vertical-align: top; text-align: left; width: 84px; font-size: 11px; margin: 2px 10px 10px 2px;"><a style="box-shadow: 0px 0px 4px #999; padding: 2px; display: block; border-radius: 2px; text-decoration: none;" href="http://www.kractivist.org/no-more-sardar-sarovar-projects-in-india-jairam-ramesh/" target="_blank"><img style="padding: 0; margin: 0; border: 0; display: block; width: 80px; max-width: 100%;" alt="" src="http://i.zemanta.com/203534870_80_80.jpg" /></a><a style="display: block; overflow: hidden; text-decoration: none; line-height: 12pt; height: 80px; padding: 5px 2px 0 2px;" href="http://www.kractivist.org/no-more-sardar-sarovar-projects-in-india-jairam-ramesh/" target="_blank">No more Sardar Sarovar projects in India: Jairam Ramesh</a></li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="zemanta-pixie" style="margin-top: 10px; height: 15px;"><a class="zemanta-pixie-a" title="Enhanced by Zemanta" href="http://www.zemanta.com/?px"><img class="zemanta-pixie-img" style="border: none; float: right;" alt="Enhanced by Zemanta" src="http://img.zemanta.com/zemified_h.png?x-id=6cd3de27-f18c-4a5f-a88f-6b895092a19a" /></a></div> " data-medium-file="" data-large-file="" class=" size-full wp-image-27517 aligncenter" src="http://www.indiaspend.com/wp-content/uploads/343.png" alt="3" width="290" height="213" />Source: Fossil-Free Indexes

Coal India is number one, and the Adani Group number three on the list of the top 200 coal companies globally ranked by the potential carbon emissions content of their reported reserves, according to Fossil Free Indexes, a stock market index that promotes ethical investing.

Greenpeace has campaigned against both companies, exposing their claims on reserves and financial health, and documenting environmental and other violations.  Greenpeace’s Australia chapter has opposed Adani’s plans to develop the world’s largest coal deposit, the Carmichael mine in Queensland, which it acquired for 16.5 billion dollars.

Breakneck industrialisation, Chinese style

Companies like Coal India and Adani are expected to play a vital role in the Modi government’s grand plan for India to take over from China as the new ‘factory of the world’.

With GDP growth dipping to 7% for the first quarter of 2015 (the lowest since 2009), China is clearly slowing down. India seems intent on capitalising on this slowdown and the newfound limits on growth imposed by environmental and health concerns in China.

The first signs that the Modi government is pushing for a Chinese-style industrialisation project came when it announced a clutch of mega projects under the Make-In-India initiative. Work is underway on the most ambitious of these projects, the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, across six states, to be built at an estimated cost of $100 billion.

For the government, one of the chief obstacles in this path is land acquisition, which is being tackled through amendments to the existing legislation. The other big hurdle is energy, in which coal will continue to play the biggest part–and this is at the core of its grouse with organisations such as Greenpeace.

Coal and Climate Change–an existential threat

The burning of fossil fuels—coal, oil and gas, in that order—releases massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, and has been proven to be the biggest culprit behind climate change.

4deskSource: Nature

With carbon-dioxide levels at record highs—as IndiaSpend reported—only a fraction of the known extractable fossil fuel reserves, least of all, coal, can be burned without endangering the world’s future, the reason why campaigners like Greenpeace are dead set against the fuel.

But for the Modi government, and India’s elites and middle classes in general, this would amount to the big prize being snatched away from sniffing distance. That’s why the shots fired against Greenpeace may be only the first in the long, bruising battle ahead.

http://www.newslaundry.com/2015/05/13/why-greenpeace-is-first-on-the-chopping-block/

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