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India's First Energy Transition Centre Launched

Coal India Limited (CIL), has also started investing in renewable energy. Recently, in April 2021, the company has announced establishing of two wholly-owned subsidiaries—CIL Solar PV and CIL Navikarniya Urja Limited—for undertaking solar PV manufacturing and renewable energy projects.

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The International Forum for Environment, Sustainability and Technology (iFOREST), today launched its India Just Transition Centre (IJTC), at a virtual event. The inaugural session was attended by Member of Parliament (MP) Jairam Ramesh; Jayant Sinha (MP); and Vinod Kumar Tewari, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Coal. At the event a new report titled “Five R’s: A cross-sectoral landscape of Just Transition in India”, was also released. 

Speaking at the event, Jairam Ramesh, emphasized on the need to create capacity in India on just transition. “There is need to create independent research capacity which will be the base for advocacy and eventually a larger policy change. The IJTC will have an important role in creating this capacity and bringing the expertise together”, said Ramesh.

Jayant Sinha, who is from Hazaribagh constituency, a key coal district of Jharkhand, emphasized the need to start planning for a just transition in coal mining areas. “Phasing out coal over the next two to three decades is essential to meet climate goals. The planning for this must start now. The IJTC will play an important role in bridging the gap between state and national policy and the ground realities,” said Sinha. “People will be central to this transition and planning for it must be participatory and transparent. They must be given alternatives for livelihood,” he added. 

Presenting the vision of IJTC, Chandra Bhushan, CEO of iFOREST said “IJTC will be a platform to bring stakeholders together to work on various aspects of just transition in India. Envisioned as a Centre of Excellence, IJTC will provide thought leadership, support policies and planning, provide technical support, promote best practices, and build capacity of various stakeholders”  

“In fact, the need for such a Centre is already being felt in coal-dependent states, such as Jharkhand where 50% of coal mines are temporarily or permanently closed due to reasons of unprofitability, among others. Many of the mines are being closed without proper mine closure and plans for the mining areas' socio-economic transition.  IJTC will work with stakeholders to develop policies and plans for just transition in these areas”, he added. 

IJTC is planning to launch a resource centre for just transition in the coming months. “By launching IJTC, iFOREST has made a long term commitment to work on a just energy transition,” said Bhushan. 

Speaking at the event, Vinod Kumar Tewari, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Coal said, “Fossil fuels like coal have a finite life and hence a transition is inevitable. There is already a momentum to move towards cleaner sources of energy with even public sector power units like NTPC looking at building renewable energy capacity,”

Coal India Limited (CIL), has also started investing in renewable energy. Recently, in April 2021, the company has announced establishing of two wholly-owned subsidiaries—CIL Solar PV and CIL Navikarniya Urja Limited—for undertaking solar PV manufacturing and renewable energy projects.