Time to prioritise alternatives to coal and petrol: Gadkari

New Delhi, Feb 2:

Impressing upon the need to give “high priority” to alternative fuels, union Surface Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari Monday said India was assessing the potential of biofuels as an alternative to petroleum products and coal.

Nitin Gadkari

“Pollution is a big problem for all Indian cities. Second, we are importing petroleum products, coal and gas and we are spending a lot in doing so. Our government is working closely on assessing the reach of biofuels and other sustainable fuels,” he said at the International Conference on Sustainable Fuel for IC (internal combustion) Engines in Emerging Nations here.

Describing the first ethanol-powered bus in his hometown Nagpur as a “success”, Gadkari said more experiments with biodiesel and bio-CNG were underway.

“It is that time for the economy and country, when we should give the highest priority to alternative and sustainable fuels. In all this, we also want to promote our ‘Make in India’ campaign and utilize the home-grown technical knowhow to meet our demands.”

The two-day conference organised by the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Tata Motors sought to identify alternative sustainable fuels helpful in controlling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

It is largely believed that there is a need to limit GHG equivalent levels to below 450 ppm to keep the global temperatures from rising above 2 degrees Celsius.

Higher levels would give rise to higher temperatures and potentially catastrophic consequences, said a release by TERI.

To reverse this trend, it is anticipated that overall GHG levels will need to reduce by 80 percent by 2050, the statement said.

Inaugurating the event, TERI director general R.K. Pachauri said the conference had potential to define the future of sustainable fuels and “provide a basis for policies and strategies to support environmental quality, security of supply and sustainability in the transport sector”. (IANS)

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