1. Massive expansion of dirty coal
Narendra Modi talks about “clean energy,” but upon taking office, Modi presided over an expansion of dirty coal, which kills about 100,000 Indians every year. Modi specifically prevented Indian victims of dirty coal from being heard by exempting coal mine expansion projects from all public hearings.
- End Coal: “First Modi Budget Gives Coal a Boost”
- Scientific American: “Coal-Fired Power in India May Cause More Than 100,000 Premature Deaths Annually”
2. Removal of safeguards against industrial polluters
The Modi government lifted a ban on new industries in critically polluted industrial areas, and went against the SUpreme Court by allowing mid-sized polluting industries to operate within 5 km of national parks and sanctuaries.
- Quartz India: “11 environmental disasters Narendra Modi blessed in his first 100 days”
- Asia Sentinel: “India’s Modi Government Forsakes Environment for Growth”
- The Third Pole: “India 2014: the year the green bar was lowered”
3. Mixed signals on climate, despite tremendous vulnerability
Narendra Modi used to pride himself as a climate leader, but that changed as soon as he was elected prime minister. India is one of the nations most vulnerable to climate change, but Prime Minister Modi made world headlines by refusing to attend the 2014 United Nations climate summit. While he has been supporting solar and talking about climate justice, he has thus far refused to set any target for India’s peak climate pollution.
- Modi Beats: “PM Narendra Modi opts out of attending the UN Climate Summit”
- Grist: “Yoga could be an answer to climate change, says India’s prime minister”
- India Climate Dialogue: “India’s post-2020 climate plan in disarray”
- Maplecroft: “Climate change and lack of food security multiply risks of conflict and civil unrest in 32 countries”
Photo credit: Stefan Wernli, cc-by-sa