The G7 nations’ plan of persuading India to start negotiations on a Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), an initiative of the rich nations to accelerate phasing out of coal and reducing emissions has hit a road-block. JETP makes various funding options available for this purpose in identified developing countries.

The Power Ministry has refused to give its consent to the negotiations so far, as it argues that coal cannot be singled out as a polluting fuel, and energy transition talks need to take place on equal terms, an official told businessline.

“While it was decided at the G7 meet in June to move forward in negotiations with Indonesia, India, Senegal and Vietnam on JETPs, New Delhi has not been able to give a go-ahead mainly because of the Power Ministry’s opposition,” another source said. Approvals from other ministries concerned, such as Environment, may not be as difficult to get, he added.

South Africa model

The JETP model is expected to be on the lines of the JETP programme already launched with South Africa at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) last year. The countries announced a shared long-term ambition to support South Africa’s decarbonisation efforts to help meet its emission reduction targets set out in its latest Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), the source said.

The G7 which includes France, Germany, the UK, the US and the EU, proposed financing of $8.5 billion for South Africa through various instruments such as grants, concessional loans and investments, and risk-sharing instruments, including involving the private sector.

“The JETP model to be followed with India and other identified developing countries is likely to be based on the South Africa model but all details including decarbonisation process and funding have to be subject to negotiations,” the source said.

Strong opposition

If the Power Ministry continues to resist, India could still get into the negotiations if the PMO decides to intervene, like it did during COP26 when India finally agreed to setting a target for reaching net zero emissions by 2070, the source added. But, the Ministry is determined to put up a fight as long as the agreement remains unequal, said the official.  

“If any country wants to get into an agreement on discussing energy transition, then it has to be for discussing the transition of both the signatory countries. We should not give a right to any country to come and review our energy transition action, or to discuss the action we are taking,” he said.

Besides, you cannot single out coal, the official added. “We have coal, so we use coal. Countries that have natural gas, burn natural gas. Similarly, countries which have shale, use shale. All these fuels emit carbon dioxide when burnt. So, the discussion has to be not only on coal but on all fossil fuels, including gas and shale,” he said.

According to India’s updated NDC, it stands committed to reduce emission intensity of its GDP by 45 per cent by 2030, from 2005 level and achieve about 50 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.