Trump’s ‘filthy’ comment overlooks steps taken by India to cut carbon footprint

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 23, 2020

PM Modi to inaugurate India Energy Forum by CERAWeek on Monday

The Centre’s push towards natural gas and attempts to curtail India’s carbon footprint do not seem to have attracted US President Donald Trump’s attention.

During the second and last Presidential debate, Trump clubbed India, China and Russia and collectively termed the air quality in these nations as ‘filthy’. He was attempting to discredit his rival Joe Biden’s climate action plan.

But by terming India’s air quality as ‘filthy’, Trump has overlooked the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas’s push to cut carbon emissions by promoting gas, a much cleaner fuel than crude oil or coal.

According to official estimates, the Centre is working on mission mode to increase the share of natural gas in India’s energy mix from 6 per cent to 15 per cent by 2030. The steps taken have been noticed by global oil and gas energy majors who would be interacting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the next edition of CERAWeek.

Modi is scheduled to inaugurate the India Energy Forum by CERAWeek by IHS Markit, Gas, on Monday (October 26). He will be joined by Prince Abdulaziz, Minister of Energy of Saudi Arabia, and Dan Brouillette, US Secretary of Energy. It is expected that both Prince Abdulaziz and Brouillette will be sharing their views on India’s energy sector. It will also be interesting to see if Brouillette echoes the views of his President during his interactions here.

Gas push

India’s sustained push towards natural gas is seen in the ‘One Nation one Gas Grid’ approach with a 17,000 km gas pipeline already in place, and an additional 17,000 km pipeline to be built.

India’s domestic LNG infrastructure is also being expanded rapidly with six LNG re-gasification terminals becoming operational with a capacity of over 39 million tonne per annum on both the East and West coasts of the country.

With an additional capacity of 18 million tonne per annum at an advanced stage of development, India is the world’s 4th largest LNG importer after Japan, South Korea and China.

India is rolling out its largest city gas distribution network across the country. Till 2014, only 66 districts of the country were covered under Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Piped Natural Gas (PNG) infrastructure, which has now gone up to 407 districts, thanks to the measures taken in the last six years.

PNG connection for households has increased from 2.54 million in 2014 to 6.3 million now and is being further provided to 40 million. Similarly CNG connections have increased from 938 in 2014 to 2,300 now and will be raised to 10,000. After expanding these facilities, 70 per cent of the population will get clean energy.

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Published on October 23, 2020
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