Last Updated: June 20, 2023
Climate Policy Initiative
The Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) report studied the levels of vulnerabilities of coal-bearing Indian states due to energy transition.
The report lauded Jharkhand for starting a task force to plan a sustainable pathway for the anticipated face down of coal in the state.
A latest report by the Climate Policy Initiative (CPI) claimed that Odisha is the country’s most vulnerable state regarding the adverse impacts of India’s net-zero ambitious net-zero plans. The international think-tank, in their ‘vulnerability assessment report,’ studied the risks faced by India’s coal-bearing states.
The CPI report asseses the vulnerability of states due to energy transition. Photo by-Upklyak / Freepik
It comes with the anticipated phasing out of coal and an increase in the deployment of renewable energy. It studied five major coal-producing states of India and analyzed the threat and risks these states face in different parameters. These included Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and West Bengal. The report said that around 85 percent of the country’s coal production came from these states.
“These are also amongst the most economically impoverished states, with limited additional economic drivers. As a result, the economies of these states rely heavily on this solid fossil fuel-based economy for generating revenue, ensuring employment, and financing social programs,” the report said. The researchers analyzed the vulnerability of these states on five major themes-fiscal and economic losses, vulnerability to climate risks, implications of the energy transition to communities, diversification, and political economy. The report analyzed the revenues coming from coal in these states, the share of coal capacity, the production levels in states, and the share of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds in all these states, which could be lens due to this transition and other related factors. The report said that combining all factors, Odisha seemed to be the most vulnerable out of India’s coal-bearing states. “Odisha emerges as the most vulnerable state. Being a coastal state, it is highly vulnerable to physical climate risks. It also corners the highest CSR spend from public sector undertakings (PSUs) in fossil power generation and fossil fuel mining vis-à-vis other states. The state, however, does have significant RE potential and can replace its existing fossil plants without impacting its energy security,” the report said. It also said that Chattisgarh was the second most vulnerable state on the list. “It has the maximum conventional fuel capacity among the assessed states. This impacts the state on multiple parameters: high dependence on electricity for revenue, energy security and limited diversification options,” the report said. It also said that Jharkhand had been heavily dependent upon fossil fuel mining for its state revenue, with more than a quarter of its revenue coming from fossil fuel mining alone. The report also lauded Jharkhand for starting a Task Force to plan for the Energy Transition in the state. Talking about Jharkhand, the CPI report said, “The state does have RE potential to replace its existing fossil power plants; however, the ability of state finances to support the same is limited as state finances are stretched with an average fiscal deficit being on the higher side compared to other states.”