The Real Cost of Coal Extraction in India
This report by Aditi Rajagopal is part of a series on the environment and climate change funded by Deutsche Welle, Germany's international broadcaster.
While the world is rejecting fossil fuels, deep in the heartland of the central Indian mining belt, coal extraction is still considered the cheapest solution to the country's rising energy demands. While emissions from coal mining is responsible for one in five deaths worldwide, the most dire impacts are felt locally. Coal mining affects the poorest Adivasi communities that live around these mines in every way imaginable. It's in the air, in their freshwater and in the soil where they once grew crops. And it is wiping them out of their forest homes at an unprecedented rate.
Since 1951, over 2.5M people have been displaced by mines in India, and less than a quarter were rehabilitated. When you consider the social and environmental costs, coal doesn't seem so cheap anymore!