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Transition offers LIC opportunity to curb India’s coal obsession

November 26, 2020

The Times of India:

The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) will soon turn 65 as it readies itself to list. Interestingly, it is the timing of this listing that marks yet another important watershed moment. If it was the dubious governance around the conduct of life business which led to its birth – it is Environment, Societal and Governance (ESG) knocking the door this time.

Earlier this week the business press broke the story of solar tariffs falling to a new low of Rs 2.00 per unit, about 15% lower than the previous record. Both foreign and Indian companies bid aggressively in this auction by the Solar Energy Corporation of India. Why should that worry the masters of the cash cow, if they aren’t already? Here’s the cue. ‘Game over! Thermal coal is dead, globally, with this announcement’, says Tim Buckley – Director, IEEFA.

The ‘obituary’ comes whilst we remain in the tight grip of a pandemic. The correlation between air quality and respiratory health is rather well established. The anthropogenic triggers laced with fossil fuel is what accelerates greenhouse gas effect and thus the climate crisis. Pollution level, not just in the national capital, but across the country gets from bad to worse at this time of the year. Slicing or dicing per capita carbon footprint does not make it any less bad than what it is – the world’s third most polluting country. At the centre of it all lies our obsession with coal. 

[Praveen Gupta]

More: Cash cow at the crossroads: LIC@65!

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