Coal plants in India’s eastern states are getting into a dust-up over the smog.
The state of Assam and West Bengal, two other states that have seen some of the worst smog in the world, have been pushing for better standards for building emissions and emissions controls, while the federal government has pledged to put in place the “most stringent emission standards for coal-fired power plants in the country”.
The Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment has called for a global carbon tax, which would cost about $100bn per year.
Coal-fired electricity plants in Delhi and the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh have faced a slew of pollution charges, with the government now saying that those charges are no longer valid.
“The Centre has asked the state government to take up the matter of issuing a special notification, setting up a committee, and holding public hearings on the issue,” the state energy minister Manish Sisodia told reporters.
A spokesperson for the coal ministry in Delhi said the Centre’s request was “very serious” and was not linked to any recent emissions charge.
Delhi has been in a prolonged and bitter dispute with West Bengal over its emissions, and the two states have been trying to resolve the issue in the past month.
India is India’s third-largest emitter of CO2 after China and the United States, accounting for a third of the world’s total emissions.
The country has been looking at ways to limit emissions of CO3, a key component of smog, and a draft national emission cap for coal power plants has been drawn up, according to the Carbon Tracker Initiative, an international research group.
The proposed cap would be on a per-megawatt-hour basis, which means a coal plant would have to be on an average of 4,000 tonnes of CO 3 per year, compared to the current 5,000 per megawatt hour.
A draft of the national emissions cap, which was presented by the Delhi government to the Climate Action Tracker, also suggested setting a carbon tax of 50 cents a tonne on coal.
This would come into effect in 2020.
India has been trying for some time to reduce its CO2 emissions and this is seen as a major part of the country’s plan to transition to 100% renewable energy.
The country currently has a target of cutting emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2030.