India to pitch for charcoal extracted from bamboo
India is going to make a case for charcoal extracted from bamboo at the ongoing Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (COP14). The tribal affairs ministry is working on a model where over 100 units across the country will work on extracting the environment-friendly coal, employing people from tribal communities.
The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) said that under the ministry’s Vandhan scheme, work on setting up these 100 units is ongoing in the seven states of the Northeast as well as Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.
TRIFED managing director Pravir Krishna said that the units will employ as many as 5 lakh people from the tribal communities, as bamboo is found in abundance in areas where tribal communities reside. He added that the ministry has been promoting non-timber produce like honey, lac, and tamarind, to help create livelihoods among tribal communities.
“This is an environment-friendly proposal which does not require heavy investments, and will promote tribal enterprise. Charcoal extracted from bamboo does not have carbon credits, making it a highly productive alternative to industrial coal,” said Krishna. Work on these units will start after the monsoon ends, sometime in October, he added.
The COP14 summit, currently going on in Delhi, has representatives from over 196 countries.
Currently, India is the largest emitter of sulphur dioxide, a byproduct of burnt coal, thereby contributing to over 15% of anthropogenic emissions across the globe.
India’s emission targets as per its commitments at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) is to increase its non-fossil fuel usage to 40%. Speaking at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, PM Modi had said that India will achieve most of these goals, set for 2030, by 2020-21.