A fair transition to clean energy will have to furnish industry restructuring for India’s logistics sector, employing thousands of workers in coal projects by Adani, Vedanta, Hindalco, CIL etc.
A report by a Delhi-based environmental think tank – The International Forum for Environment, Sustainability and Technology, stated that a minimum of 2.15 Crore people currently employed with the coal, gas and allied sectors will be affected by India’s transition to clean energy.
As the decarbonisation rally paces up to meet the Paris Agreement 2015 goals, the transition should be acceptable to all the allied sectors of the nation. What this transition means for India’s logistics sector, is yet to be laid down by the driving forces. The 60 Indian districts with high dependency on coal, need to be prioritized while structuring the plan of action.
For example, the Adani Group coal project in the Parsa East and Kanta Basan block allocated to the Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Nigam Ltd (RRVNL), sources coal for thermal power plants in Rajasthan of around 4000megawatt capacity. The disruption in the industry will directly affect the employed workforce in the logistics department.
According to the “Five R’s: A cross-sectoral Landscape of Just Transition in India” report, a comprehensive transition would be inclusive of industrial and economic restructuring, land repurposing, reskilling the workforce, revenue substitution, responsible environmental and social practices along with substantive investments.
As fuel comprises a major portion of the logistics sector, the transition will completely change the dynamics in the arena. While this sector enables the growth of other allied industries, coal projects by Adani, Vedanta, Hindalco, CIL etc., are involved in heavy transportation routines for delivering coal to different locations. They will have to revamp the logistics operations to align it with India’s transition to clean energy.
Coal mining is India’s biggest employer, with an estimate of 26 lakh people employed directly and indirectly. These employees constitute 70 per cent of informal workers in the country. Informal workers employed in the sector will be the hardest hit amongst all as they are already working on low wages, no benefits and no job security.
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