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Coal comeback an eminent threat: French energy economist

india Updated: Jul 24, 2009 17:21 IST

Hindustan Times
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Comeback of coal is the most potently dangerous threat adding to the impact of the climate change if the government across the globe do not act immediately warned French energy economist Patrick Criqui in Bangalore on Wednesday.

Painting a scary picture of the environment the children of today’s children will inherit if the present day generation does not act in the right direction, Patrick Criqui said in a paper presented at a seminar at the Institute for Social and Economic Change that “the time to tackle the carbon emission was now. Tomorrow may be too late.”

With the prospects of oil scarcity in a decade’s time staring the world, nations like USA, Australia, China and India were moving towards coal as an energy source. “Coal is the next fuel of the future,” he declared and added “but it is not good for the climate. It can become a major threat.”

“Wars for oil may also be a distinct possibility,” he continued to paint a grimmer picture of the future scenario as he saw it from his projections of oil demand and production. Besides, after 2040 no new oil finds will be made in the world, he said basing his assertions on data currently available.

If no action is taken on carbon emissions, increased use of coal as a major fuel, will only add to the problem of climate change. The carbon capture in atmosphere and its storage in a long lasting way, coal will become a major threat the French energy economist cautioned urging the governments across the globe to think seriously about checking the carbon emissions right now.

“What are needed are more efficient technologies to produce power as also more efficient machines and appliances so that the world saved on energy requirements. This would mean that the countries adopt newer technologies that were more efficient,” he said by way of offering a possible solution.

With China and India using up more energy resources to fuel their growth, these two countries will have to take the climate change issue more seriously, he felt advocating the need for urgent and immediate action. Fielding a volley of questions from the participants if the developed West that was more guilty of using up resources far in excess, the French energy economist concurred that the responsibility was higher on the developed nations to pay more for checking carbon emissions than the developing world.

Thanking the visiting energy expert, ISEC director RS Deshpande said his presence would be most useful for the researchers at the institute who were studying these aspects of climate change and its impact on development and vice versa.