Fearful: India's aluminium manufacturers shot off a letter to the PMO, requesting that it restore coal supplies or the industry would lose up to one million jobs and fail to meet production targets | Photo: Business Standard

India: Aluminium industry warns of jobs losses, asks PMO to resume coal supplies

The Aluminium Association of India (AAI) wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) asking for resumed coal supplies to the country’s aluminium manufacturers, as it warned that not honouring the industry’s regular coal requirement could result in one million employees losing their jobs. The industry is heavily coal-dependent as aluminium needs 15-times more electricity per tonne than steel and 145-times more electricity than cement. Of late, India’s aluminium manufacturers have received only around 10% of their coal supplies as the nation went through a supply crunch. Even the power ministry has reiterated that the stunted supplies were caused by logistical issues, rather than the country choosing not to mine more coal. 

Australia announces net zero target by 2050 but won’t let go of fossil fuels any time soon

The Australian prime minister announced that Australia would target net zero emissions by 2050, even though it had no plans of clamping down on fossil fuels. The announcement comes just days before the COP26 summit, but it has drawn criticism as the country has one of the highest CO2 emissions. However, Scott Morrisson has defended his support for fossil fuels, saying that Australia was already on track to lowering its emissions by 30-35% by 2030, which was higher than the 26% reduction it had pledged at the Paris Agreement. Besides, he wanted coal miners to adapt and become more competitive for as long as there was demand for the fuel, and that Australia would use more natural gas in the interim, even as it invested in solar and carbon capture using natural sinks. 

UK’s emissions could triple if pipeline of 40 fossil fuel projects okayed 

A new report revealed that the UK had 40 fossil fuel projects waiting to be approved, and if okayed, they would triple its annual greenhouse gas emissions over the projects’ lifetimes. The projects include a deep coal mine in Cumbria and a proposed oil field off of Shetland, and the report comes at a time when the UK is just days away from hosting the UNFCCC COP26 — where countries are expected to pledge to slash their fossil fuel dependence. However, the Boris Johnson government has defended the proposed projects, saying that weaning itself off of all domestically-sourced fossil fuels would leave it vulnerable to supply shocks from other countries, and effectively weaken the UK’s energy independence.