Banking on India's Coal Conundrum - Murky Past, Murky Future?

Case Study - Summary

The title of the report gives an insight into its dirty past and gloomy future. As coal has been the prime source of commercial energy, it has been in debate for several wrong reasons and has a very black history including corruption and stranded investments. The climate impacts and pollution, environmental and human rights violations and unfair advantage to private industry. The allocation and auctioning of coal mining leases have been very controversial. The compliance of mining and other regulations has been lethargic. The financial, environmental, human rights violations and the shrinking investments in coal power and rapidly declining costs of renewable energy, especially solar, does not portend a future for coal and coal-based power in India. This report details about the bank’s exposure of these financial institutions as well as relevant information in companies and projects that they have financed within the sector. It provides an overview of the coal and thermal power sector and its implications. Based on the outcome of specific case studies it reflects upon and the policy and regulatory regimes. Finally, it provides a set of recommendations to the state, the investors, civil society and the communities directly impacted to ensure the twin goals of meeting the energy needs without compromising on the environmental and climate goals.

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