Hi, I’m Akshat Rathi, a Quartz journalist who traveled to one of the most coal-polluted cities in India to report on the country’s coal addiction and how it affects the world’s battle against climate change. Ask me anything!
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EDIT: I’m stepping away for the evening but I’ll answer any remaining questions later today or early tomorrow. Thank you for all the questions so far!
I recently visited Korba, an Indian city completely dependent on coal and related industries. Pollution from open-pit mines and coal power plants make Korba the third most “critically polluted” city in the country. We hear a lot of stories about the rise of renewables in India, but more than 75% of the country’s electricity still comes from burning coal. If India went China’s way, we’ll blow past the carbon budget set under the Paris climate agreement, even if other countries cut emissions. Fortunately, it seems like India’s coal use may peak sooner and at a lower level. Pushing the brakes harder on coal is tricky but possible. Ask me anything!