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Don’t get assured supply of fuel as India is not NSG member: PM Modi

Bloomberg New Delhi | Updated on September 26, 2019 Published on September 26, 2019

PM Narendra Modi. File photo   -  PTI

China has kept India out of the 48-member NSG, which controls the export of nuclear materials

Prime Minister Narendra Modi tempered hopes that the third-largest emitter of carbon dioxide will move quickly to reduce the use of coal.

“Because India is not a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), we don’t have assured supply of the fuel. If we get a solution to this, we can create a new model for the world,” he said at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York on Wednesday.

China has kept India out of the 48-member NSG, which controls the export of nuclear materials. The leader of the world’s second most-populous country declined to commit to a reduction in coal usage, which both he and his predecessors have said is essential to ensure electricity to millions of its citizens.

India has the world’s third-largest coal reserves, Modi said.

When asked if he expects to reduce coal burning in India, he said, Ïn a poor country like India, we can’t ignore that fact.”

Coal helps produce about 72 per cent of the countrys electricity, which the Power Ministry’s draft plan seeks to reduce to 50 per cent by 2030. Modi said that India needs to use cleaner methods of mining and consuming the fuel.

Describing India’s commitment to mitigating climate change, Modi said he aims to achieve 450 gigawatts of renewable power capacity in the near future and is ahead of schedule in implementing a more immediate goal of 175 gigawatts capacity from solar, wind and biomass.

However, India has separately also indicated the countrys climate change response plans are conditional on higher financial support from developed nations. According to the NewClimate Institute think tank, India would have to play a major role -- along with China and the United States (US) -- in keeping global warming below the Paris agreement ceiling of 2 degrees Celsius. The three countries combined produce over 50 per cent of the global carbon dioxide emissions, but are also the largest renewable energy markets.

The NSG was created in response to Indias 1974 atomic bomb test that challenged the credibility of laws written to prohibit nuclear proliferation. While nations are free to discuss bilateral details with uranium suppliers even if they are out of the NSG, India has struggled to add nuclear generation capacity. This was due to a range of challenges, including developers concerns over a liability law and local protests.

Published on September 26, 2019
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