Jharkhand will be worst impacted in the course of transition from coal-based economy to renewable energy sources, according to a report on how the switch might affect people’s livelihoods.
As India pledges to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2070 at the UN Climate Change Conference UK2021, the gradual phasing out of coal is imminent. However, this process of phasing out, aimed at achieving cleaner environment, may come at the cost of livelihood of millions of people dependent on coal.
On Monday, Union coal secretary Dr Anil Jain released a report in New Delhi based on the study of possible impact on the coal-bearing districts during this phasing out. The report prepared by National Foundation for India (NFI) paints a dismal future of Jharkhand where 15 out of 24 districts are going to be impacted, with four — Ranchi, Koderma, Pakur and Palamu — identified to be highly vulnerable.
The study titled — Socio economic impacts of coal transition in India — bottom-up analysis of jobs in coal and coal consuming industries focussed on around 266 coal-bearing districts in nine states — Jharkhand, Odisha, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and parts of UP. The analysis done on the basis of dependency on coal revealed that 135 out of these 266 districts are going to be impacted severely because the dependency on coal.
“Coal transitions in India are likely to be a messy and complicated exercise. At a conservative estimate, more than 13 million people are employed in coal mining, transport, power, sponge iron, steel, and bricks sectors,” the report reads.