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42% of world’s coal power stations run at loss: Report

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New Delhi, Nov 30: Two-fifths of the world’s coal power stations, including in India, were already running at a loss, financial think-tank Carbon Tracker said in a first-of-its-kind study on Friday.

It challenges the need for new coal generation and shows that it makes economic sense to close plants in line with the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.

It has analysed 6,685 coal power plants worldwide to study its financial condition and to understand its profitability.

Carbon Tracker finds that 42 per cent of global coal capacity is already unprofitable because of high fuel costs and by 2040 that could reach 72 per cent as existing carbon pricing and air pollution regulations drive up costs.

It costs more to run 62 per cent of India’s coal capacity than to build new renewable generation and by 2030 that will increase to 100 per cent.

New renewables can already supply power more cheaply than new coal plants in India. It adds phasing out coal power would benefit consumers and taxpayers because India is a regulated market where state support keeps uneconomic plants profitable.

Carbon Tracker has carried out the first global analysis of the profitability of the coal plants worldwide, representing 95 per cent (1,900 GW) of all operating capacity and 90 per cent (220 GW) of capacity under construction and has published the results in a new coal power economics portal.

The unique, free-to-use online tool will be updated regularly, helping investers, policymakers and civil society developing economically rational plans to close coal plants and to understand the financial risk if they continue to operate.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that at least 59 per cent of coal power worldwide must be retired by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and many countries have set phase-out dates.

However, the price of onshore wind and solar power continues to fall and any future regulation would make coal power still more unprofitable.

It costs more to run 35 per cent of coal power plants than to build new renewable generation and by 2030 building new renewables will be cheaper than continuing to operate 96 per cent of today’s existing and planned coal plants, it said.

China could save $389 billion by closing plants in line with the Paris agreement instead of pursuing business as usual plans, while the European Union could save $89 billion; the US could save $78 billion; and Russia could save $20 billion.

Matt Gray, head of power and utilities at Carbon Tracker and co-author of the report, said: “The narrative is quickly changing from how much do we invest in new coal capacity to how do we shutdown existing capacity in a way that minimises losses.

“This analysis provides a blueprint for policymakers, investors and civil society.”

IANS

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Stop blaming China, Pakistan: Chinese media to India

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Beijing, Feb 18: India must self-introspect its anti-terrorism policy rather than blaming Pakistan for the Pulwama suicide bombing and China for blocking efforts to list Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist without proof, said a Chinese state-run newspaper.

The Pakistan-backed JeM took responsibility for the February 14 terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district that killed 49 CRPF personnel.

A comment piece in the Global Times accused India of failing to provide “solid evidence” against Azhar and said China rightly practised caution against listing him as a terrorist.

The article, authored by Yu Jincui, advised New Delhi to resort to “quiet diplomacy instead of extensively directing aggressive rhetoric to better address” the Azhar issue.

“Without solid evidence, India has long accused Pakistan of sponsoring terrorist attacks by JeM and other militant groups and China of providing uncritical support for Pakistan,” the article stated.

“Instead of simply blaming other countries, especially Pakistan and China, shouldn’t the Indian government make more self-introspection on its anti-terrorism policy and dwell more on how to better administer (Jammu and) Kashmir?

“As for the issue of listing Azhar, Beijing has reiterated its stand several times that New Delhi should provide solid facts and proofs for banning Azhar,” it said.

According to the Times’ piece, China had reason to cautiously handle the issue as “observers worry that blacklisting Azhar could be used by India to increase its military pressure on Pakistan, thus risking exacerbating tensions between the two countries”.

The article denied that by not getting Azhar listed as a global terrorist by the UN, China was supporting terrorism against India.

“India in recent years has aggressively blamed China for allying with Pakistan in shielding terrorists. It disregards the fact that as a victim of terrorism itself, China has pledged to support the international community’s anti-terrorism efforts and stands ready to work with India and all other countries to fight terrorism.”

However, the article added that some Chinese scholars want China to take India’s concerns more into account on the JeM chief.

“Should New Delhi resort to quiet diplomacy instead of extensively directing aggressive rhetoric to pressure Beijing, the Azhar issue could have been better addressed,” the comment piece stated.

“A tough stance by the BJP government may help the ruling party win more support. But this will risk anti-terrorism cooperation being sabotaged for the political interests of parties in India,” it said.

IANS

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India blaming us without probe: Pakistan

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Dr Mohammad Faisal

Islamabad, Feb 17 (IANS) Pakistan on Sunday told foreign envoys here that India was blaming it for a horrific suicide bombing in Jammu and Kashmir even without any investigation.

Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua said this to diplomats from Africa and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states.

The Dawn newspaper quoted Janjua as saying that there was “a familiar pattern of India blaming Pakistan instantly after such incidents without any investigation”, Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal tweeted.

The Pakistan Foreign Office said a “deliberate anti-Pakistan frenzy is being spurred in India” and warned that “baseless Indian allegations and aggressive rhetoric are counterproductive and a threat to regional peace”.

Islamabad’s statement came three days after the Pakistan-backed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing of a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in Pulwama district that killed 49 troopers.

Pakistan said it had rejected India’s allegations of its complicity because they were “made within a short time from the attack and without carrying out any investigations.

“These knee-jerk and preconceived accusations were nevertheless consistent with well-rehearsed tactics from the Indian playbook after such incidents in the past,” the Foreign Office statement added.

“Bluster, belligerence and pursuit of expedient standards to suit internal political interests is both delusional and counterproductive.

“India must come out of the denial mode, end state repression against Kashmiri youth, address widespread alienation in (Jammu and Kashmir) and pursue the path of dialogue,” the statement said.

The Foreign Office also raised questions over India’s acceptance of a video released by the attacker claiming to have ties to the JeM, saying New Delhi had double standards.

“India needs to introspect and respond to questions about its security and intelligence lapses that led to this attack,” it said. “India owes an explanation on reports of (suicide bomber) Adil Ahmed Dar’s arrest and custody since 2017.”

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Counter-terrorism, energy security to top Indian agenda during Saudi Crown Prince visit

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New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) Counter-terrorism, including Pakistans role in sponsoring terrorism against India, and energy security are likely to be on top of Indias agenda for discussion during Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmans visit starting on Tuesday.

India is expected to take up with the Saudi Crown Prince Pakistan’s role in the Pulwama terror attack that killed at least 49 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Jammu and Kashmir, informed sources said.

India has already started diplomatic efforts to isolate Pakistan internationally with Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale briefing envoys of around two dozen nations including those of P-5 and South Asian nations about Pakistan’s footprint in the Pulwama attack.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to New Delhi Saud bin Mohammed Al-Saty has said that Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to India presents a “historic opportunity” to expand collaboration in all sectors.

Moammed bin Salman is on a three-nation diplomatic tour to Pakistan, India and China.

He will be on a two-day visit to India staring February 19 and will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. He is visiting Pakistan before coming to India.

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