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Guterres tells India coal business ‘going up in smoke’ as investors back clean tech

(Climate Home News, 28 Aug 2020) UN secretary general António Guterres has taken aim at India’s coal sector, warning expansion plans made “no commercial sense” and would harm human health.

In a pointed message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Guterres said scaling up solar energy would help solve two of India’s key development priorities: alleviating poverty and bringing power to 64 million Indians still lacking energy access.

Speaking at Delhi-based The Energy and Resources Institute (Teri) on Friday, Guterres said ongoing support for fossil fuels around the world was “deeply troubling”. India is subsidising fossil fuels seven times as much as clean energy.

Modi recently launched an auction of 41 coal mining blocks to private investors. The prime minister said this would create hundreds of thousands of jobs at a time of economic fallout from Covid-19 and reduce India’s dependence on imported coal.

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Climate Home News, 28 Aug 2020: Guterres tells India coal business ‘going up in smoke’ as investors back clean tech