India is seeking to amend its National Electricity Policy to end the construction of new coal power plants.
The world’s third-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide after China and the United States, India is highly dependent on coal power, with a capacity of 205 gigawatts. If its federal cabinet approves the proposed policy update, the 28 gigawatts of coal projects currently under construction will continue to move forward, but the government will block proposals for additional coal power, Reuters reports.
“After months of deliberations, we have arrived at a conclusion that we would not need new coal additions apart from the ones already in pipeline,” a government source, who declined to be identified, told Reuters.
In international climate negotiations, India and China, which together account for some 80 percent of coal projects now underway, have resisted calls to phase out coal. If India moves to halt new projects, it would leave China as the only major emitter open to major additions of coal power.
India’s proposed policy update reportedly also calls for extending the life of existing coal plants until costs drop for energy storage, which is needed to balance out wind and solar.