India: Star of the East, Defender of the West?

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is typically called “controversial” or “divisive,” which means the liberal establishment of India and internationally doesn’t like him.  I don’t know if he deserves the accolade as the “Ronald Reagan of India,” but I hear he has some reformist instincts about opening up India’s economy and fighting corruption.

One thing his government has done is tell Obama and the UN to go stuff it on climate change.  While India mouths a few platitudes to keep the door open in case Western nations actually cough up $100 billion a year in “climate aid” bribes (that’s the price developing nations have demanded at recent UN climate summits), for the most part they talk sense, saying they’re going to increase coal production, for example.  Reuters reported last week:

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi signaled on Monday he would not bow to foreign pressure to commit to cuts in carbon emissions, instead pledging to use more clean energy and traditional methods to lead the fight against climate change.

“The world guides us on climate change and we follow them? The world sets the parameters and we follow them? It is not like that,” Modi said at an event in Delhi. . .

The Indian government has said it needs to emit more to industrialize and lift millions out of poverty.

India may build some clean energy, but they’re also going to build a lot more . . . coal:

Modi Looks to Double Coal Production by 2020

NEW DELHI — Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government aims to double Indian coal production to 1.5 billion tons by 2020. India needs more fuel to meet rapidly growing demand for electricity.

Incidentally, Japan is going back to using more coal, too:

(Bloomberg) — New coal power projects planned for Japan could emit carbon dioxide equal to about a 10th of the country’s total emissions, an environmental group said in a statement Thursday.

Japan has 43 coal power projects either under construction or planned, representing combined capacity of 21,200 megawatts, according to a statement from the Kyoto-based Kiko Network.

“These projects, which may still be operating in 2050, run counter to Japan’s efforts to tackle climate change and should be quickly reviewed or stopped,” the group said.

But back to India, which isn’t going to let Greenpeace carry on its Westboro Baptist act there any longer.  From the Deccan Herald last week:

A dossier prepared by the Union Home Ministry on March 4 claimed that Greenpeace’s foreign contribution was used “to influence and lobby” for the formation of government policies.

It claimed that the “foreign funded campaign and protest creation by Greenpeace India led to wastage of financial resources, prevented creation of productive capital and caused loss of jobs and incomes for locals, apart from depriving the country of energy”.

The dossier, prepared after investigations for six months beginning last September, said the non-operationalisation of Mahan coal block was due to the “protest-creation” of Greenpeace in Singrauli and eight other locations.

Another result of Greenpeace protest was “slowing down Government of India’s energy policy implementation by physically preventing the commission of new nuclear and coal based energy projects” and “creating hurdles in the path of existing coal based plants”.

In other words, what Greenpeace does everywhere.  But India has the good sense to shut them down.  Maybe the idea will catch on.  India has frozen Greenpeace’s bank accounts, and prohibited any more money from coming in to Greenpeace India, which seems to have used some Enron-style accounting and violated Indian law (Greenpeace would never break the law, would they?), according to the Wall Street Journal:

In an order dated Thursday, the Ministry of Home Affairs said the Greenpeace India Society had broken rules by, among other things, transferring money received from abroad from one bank account to another without informing them. It also said foreign contributions to Greenpeace had “prejudicially affected the economic interest of the State.”

The order said the organization had “under-reported and repeatedly mentioned incorrect amount of Foreign Contribution received in violation” of laws on foreign funding.

“The most glaring example,” it said, was an auditor’s certificate that said the organization had an opening foreign-contribution balance of zero when it actually had a balance 66,031,783 rupees, or about $1 million. Greenpeace said it was a typing error, according to the order.

“Typing error”? Another report in The Hindu suggests Greenpeace financial and legal evasions are quite widespread and persistent, but you get the point.

Maybe we could outsource some of our environmental management to India.  They seem to have their heads on straighter than we do.  I suspect they’ll stand firm against a bad climate deal at the next UN summit in November.

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