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I am a polluter as well as a pollution container, says union minister Piyush Goyal

Mumbai(PTI): “I am a polluter as well as a pollution container”, Union minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday said, describing how his two portfolios had put him in an “awkward” situation.

Goyal, who is the Power and Coal minister as well as that of and New and Renewable Energy, said this in a lighter vein at a symposium “Conference of Parties (COP 21) Building Synergies, Shaping Actions” organised at the University of Mumbai.

Noting that his twin portfolios put him in an “awkward” situation, he said,”I am a polluter as well as a pollution container,” according to an official statement. Goyal said India has launched the world’s largest renewable energy programme by scaling up the target for solar energy.

“The solar energy mission envisaged 20,000 MW of solar electricity generation by 2022. But this target has been pushed ahead by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to 1,00,000 MW (1Gw),” he said.

The agreement, negotiated in Paris in December 2015, sets out a global action plan to put the world on track by limiting global warming below 2 degree Celsius. India, in its climate action plan, has announced that it aims at achieving around 40 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.

Goyal said his Ministry has already bid out 19,000 MW of solar energy projects and the installed capacity of 20,000 MW would be achieved as early as 2017. He, however, cautioned that all renewable energy programmes will be sustainable only if they become “economically viable”.

The Minister said coal, which is available in abundance in India, has its own place in ensuring cheaper energy.

“While one is aware of pollution caused by the thermal power plants, their importance cannot be overlooked. Therefore, our thrust is on adopting clean coal technologies,” he said.

Goyal, however, lamented lack of commitment of the developed world in fulfilling their obligations. He asserted that “India’s green energy programmes will be carried out whether we receive support of the western world or not.”

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