Melbourne: Noted environmentalist Sunita Narain has said the West cannot ask India to stop using coal while they were still “addicted” to it.
“You need to get rid of hypocracy. You cannot tell me that India cannot go coal when Australia, Germany, US and lot of other countries are still addicted to coal,” said Narain, director-general of Centre of Science and Environment.
“You have not made that transition which you are preaching to the rest of the world,” she said during a public lecture at the University of Melbourne-based Australia Indian Insitute (AII) yesterday.
Narain said coal was the most sustainable and the only cheap option for India, now eyeing Australian uranium reserves for expanding its nuclear power industry.
“I am not against nuclear power. But I think the scale we are looking, nuclear power does not fit in. It is much more expensive and it takes lot of time to build,” Narain said.
She said nuclear power was also not a viable option as the resources were lying with “very few hands like Australia who could possibly turn off the tap anytime and not sell”.
“It also has huge problems of contamination and safety and when you start adding those costs to a nuclear plant then costs only go up,” she said, adding currently there was a debate attached to it on liability issue.
“If the cost goes up because of safety then costs will rise. So, nuclear to my mind is only one of those fantasy of a very big man.
“Coal is a reality and there are challenges to deal with the coal in an increasingly warming world,” Narain said.
Even today Australia was still addicted to coal, she said, adding that for India given the large demand for energy, coal was the only cheapest option and the only accessible one for poor people in the country.
“Give me the country which has scale of the needs that we do, have gone solar, wind renewal or any other way yet,” Narain said.
Referring to a recent study that found the highest level of mercury in coal, Narain said her organisation was now working on controlling mercury levels which could possibly increase the prices of coal in the country.
“Even if we add up that price rise, coal would still be the cheapest option for people in India,” she said.
Sena emissaries fly into Delhi for talks; Uddhav may follow… Read more…
The multi-cornered contest for the Maharashtra legislative assembly has changed… Read more…
As always, the electorate has sent a clear message to… Read more…
Mumbai : A better choice of candidates could have helped the… Read more…
Mumbai : Although Tuesday evening’s squall was no disaster, the way… Read more…
LIFE STYLISH— Oct 19, 2014 12:05 am Can bicycles create a revolution? Yes, so far as preservation of the environment is concerned. Yes, when it comes to cheap tr
BOOK REVIEWS— Oct 19, 2014 12:08 am Written with Ajith’s trademark wry humour, these real stories, often more entertaining than fiction, are a testament to a jo
FILM REVIEWS— Oct 24, 2014 11:08 pm Film: Happy New Year Cast: Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Sonu Sood, Boman Irani, Abhishek Bachchan, Vivaan Shah, Jackie Shroff
TRAVEL— Oct 19, 2014 12:00 am On a short trip to Kolkata, SAPNA SARFARE checks out and falls in love with the unlikeliest of tourist sites – the South Park St