Emphasising on the need to decarbonise electricity generation, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chairman R K Pachauri termed as a "wasteful approach" by the government to opt for coal-based power projects and pressed for the use of renewable and nuclear energy sources to satisfy the country's power needs. "We would need to decarbonise electricity generation. Renewable energy technologies are an option, nuclear energy could be an option," he said while speaking about the threat posed to climate by carbon-emitting coal-based power sector.
Noting that major investment and time goes into coal-based energy generation in the country, Pachauri said by that time 300 million people, who are electricity deprived, can be served power using renewable energy sources.
Speaking at the United Nations Public Lecture here, he said huge losses are involved in transmission and distribution of electricity generated from coal-based power plants.
"There is a huge amount of loss at various stages. To my mind that is clearly very wasteful approach. And today we have the benefit of renewable energy technology, which if you take all the costs and all the benefits into account, is clearly a winner in economic terms," Pachauri said.
He said the world emitted around 49 gigatonnes of Carbon Dioxide equivalent of Green House Gas in 2010 as against 39 gigatonnes in 2000, adding that "in 10 years, we have increased 10 gigatonnes of CO2 emission."
"Each year we have added an average of 1 gigatonnes of emission. Clearly, we are on a path where emissions on Green House Gases continue to increase. This all happens despite the fact that it was in 1992 the world accepted the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change," he said.
As per the latest IPCC report, India's high vulnerability and exposure to climate change will slow its economic growth, impact health and development, make poverty reduction more difficult and erode food security.
United Nations Resident Coordinator, Lise Grande, said energy has to be accessible, available and affordable for all people, most importantly poor people.
"There also has to be accountability in the system so that people know their needs are being met and can do something about it if they're not," she said.