For Shyam Saran, a former foreign secretary and Indian special envoy on climate change, any restrictions on India’s use of coal would be unacceptable.
According to Saran, “there are reports to suggest that an agreement on limiting and reducing the use of coal will be one of the initiatives that may be put on the table in Paris. In his remarks to Financial Times, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that India’s move to expand domestic coal use were ‘not in the direction we ought to be moving in’. This is all very well for a country that has large quantities of cheap shale gas that can substitute for coal, but India does not have that luxury. Further, even though the proportion of coal-based power in the US has declined in recent years, it is still far ahead of the total coal-based thermal power capacity in India. An international regime that limits the use of coal for power would put a major constraint on India’s economic prospects and should be rejected."