CIL’s plantation drive makes it near zero-emission company

By: |
May 13, 2021 1:00 AM

CIL as a coal mining PSU is well in line with India’s overall targeted emission levels. Besides, its green initiatives coupled with environment friendly coal transportation would augur well with the country’s emission reduction targets.

The country, in 2015, further raised its NDC to 33-35% below 2005 levels by 2030.The country, in 2015, further raised its NDC to 33-35% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Public sector miner Coal India’s ( plantation drive on over 1,300 hectare in FY22 is likely to push India further towards its net zero emission goals with the miner already bringing down its carbon emission level to 0.65% of India’s total carbon-di-oxide (CO2) emission of 2,616 million tonne (MTs) during FY20.

The data has come from Global Carbon Project: Carbon Di-Oxide Information Analysis Centre, of the US, a CIL executive said.

In FY21 the company had targeted plantation on 739 hectare to put a green cover to its mining areas. But it achieved 116% of its target covering 862 hectare, 6% more than it covered in FY20. In FY20 CIL created green cover on 813 hectare, which brought it closer to becoming a zero carbon emission company. So the current fiscal’s target of covering 1,300 hectare is likely to put the company into the zero carbon emission category since the green coverage would go up by more than 50% this fiscal.

The company has created 2.4 hectare of plantation for every hectare of land used for mining. For every tonne of coal produced,30 kg carbon goes into the air and so 2,010 million kg of carbon has been estimated to go into the environment with 670 MTs of coal targeted to be produced in FY22. But pollution arising out of coal mining operations is lesser compared to burning the fossil fuel.

“Mining is a conflict with nature which impacts environment to a certain degree. The effort is to cap it to the minimum. We are committed to fulfill our part in reduction of green house gas (GHG) emissions in the nationally determined contributions (NDC) submitted to the UN. Offsetting the carbon footprint to a bare low is a continuous activity for us” the CIL executive said.

According to the third biennial report submitted to the United Nations Frame Work Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) in February this year, India’s emission intensity of gross domestic product has reduced by 24% between 2005 and 2016. India had voluntarily set its goal to reduce the emission intensity of GDP by 20-25% from 2005 levels, before 2020. The country, in 2015, further raised its NDC to 33-35% below 2005 levels by 2030.

CIL as a coal mining PSU is well in line with India’s overall targeted emission levels. Besides, its green initiatives coupled with environment friendly coal transportation would augur well with the country’s emission reduction targets.

CIL evaluates its success of land reclamation through satellite surveillance of 52 opencast projects (OCPs), each of which produces more than 5 million cubic metres of coal and overburden combined per annum. Projects below that mark are monitored once every three years. But CIL has planned to add 26 more OCPs under the ambit of annual satellite surveillance this fiscal. In FY21, 52 OCPs reclaimed close to 64% of the total excavated area limiting the mining area at 36%.

Over the last four financial years CIL has planted around 78 lakh saplings with a survival rate of 85% spread over 3,212 hectare. Till date plantation has been done on 40,000 hectare. The company is aiming for further 10,000 hectare of afforestation till 2030 which translates to removal of 5 lakh tonne CO2, from atmosphere, per hectare, the CIL executive said.

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