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India Says It Will Cut Back on Coal if Paris Deal Pays for More Renewable-Energy Sources

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India will cut back on its coal intake if the deal resulting from this week’s climate talks in Paris provides greater funding for renewable energy, a senior negotiator from the Indian delegation at the summit said Wednesday.

India’s coal imports are expected to surpass all other countries in the next five years as it pushes for greater industrialization, but that might change if there is help with paying for “more expensive” sustainable energy forms, Ajay Mathur told the BBC.

“We look forward to an agreement that enables financial support from the countries that have developed on the backs of cheap energy, to those who have to meet their energy with more expensive but low carbon energy,” Mathur said.

India aims to increase its coal consumption to 1.5 billion tons by 2020 and has repeatedly said that developed countries must take most of the responsibility for mitigating the effects of climate change. However, Mathur also echoed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stated commitment to increasing renewable sources of energy.

“We are very clear that solar and wind is our first commitment, hydro and nuclear all of these noncarbon sources are what we will develop to the largest extent we can,” said Mathur. “What cannot be met by these will be met by coal.”


Read next: India’s Need for Coal-Fueled Growth Complicates Paris Climate Summit

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Write to Rishi Iyengar at rishi.iyengar@timeasia.com