UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Thursday presented the United Nations Response on COVID-19 which not only documents the action taken by the world body over the last three months but also offers a roadmap towards recovering better.
At the event, he discussed India’s move to start suction for coal blocks for commercial mining. According to Mr Guterres, there is no reason for any country to include coal into their COVID-19 recovery plans and investments should be instead made in non-polluting energy sources.
During a virtual press conference, he said that “We cannot go back to the way it was and simply recreate the systems that have aggravated the crisis. We need to build back better with more sustainable, inclusive, gender-equal societies and economies.”
“There is no good reason, for example, for any country to include coal in their COVID-19 recovery plans. This is the time to invest in energy sources that don’t pollute, don’t cause emissions, generate decent jobs and save money,” he added.
The UN chief further claimed that the United Nations is strongly committed to leading the renewal. Without taking the name of any country, he said it but sources said he referred to the decision taken by India to launch the auction process for coal blocks for commercial mining.
They said that India’s move raises concern as other countries may also use coal to meet energy requirements to revive the economy that has shattered by coronavirus lockdown. Under ”Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week launched the auction process for 41 coal blocks for commercial mining.
The commercial mining is likely to garner Rs 33,000 crore of capital investment in the country over next five to seven years. “Allowing private sector in commercial coal mining is unlocking resources of a nation with the world”s fourth-largest reserves,” he had pointed out. PM Modi said the auction process not only marked the beginning of unlocking India’s coal sector but also aimed to make India the largest exporter of coal.