Govt set to bring climate change under green energy ministry
The government is likely to name power minister Piyush Goyal to lead the action plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions in keeping with its global commitment. Towards this end, the climate change division under the ministry of environment, forest and climate change will be merged with the ministry of new and renewable energy, which Goyal heads. “Keeping our commitments in mind, the government has drawn up a merger plan. This will mean that Piyush Goyal will lead the government’s action on cutting emissions,” said a source on the condition of anonymity.
India, the world’s third largest greenhouse gas emitter, had last year pledged at the UN that by 2030, it would source 40% of its electricity needs from renewable and low-carbon sources. The decision is likely to be finalised when the council of ministers meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this week, sources said. “Piyush Goyal is likely to be made in charge of the entire portfolio and also be promoted as a cabinet rank minister,” said another source without wanting to be named. At present, Goyal is a minister of state with independent charge.
The Modi government had already renamed the green ministry to include climate change. “This will show to the world that India is taking both its action plans on cutting emissions and growth of renewable energy with equal seriousness,” said the source quoted above. The essence of this merger will be to ensure that the same minister (Piyush Goyal) looks after the entire gamut of electricity generation and transmission, from coal to fossil-fuel led electricity to renewable sources of electricity, he said.