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India Must Push Past 100 GW Solar to a ‘Cleaner, Secure Future’

India must push beyond its 100-GW solar target to reform energy markets and promote a low-carbon economy, grad student Chandrika Srivastava argued last week, on the eve of President Obama’s summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Don’t expect a climate deal similar to the one crafted by China and the U.S.,” Srivastava wrote, anticipating New York Times coverage six days later. India already produces 60% of its electricity from coal, and plans to double its output by 2019.

“It is clear that India’s approach to development thus far has not been successful in achieving desirable health outcomes. If the country’s preferred strategies include doubling down on coal production and increasing oil consumption, the future looks rather bleak,” she writes.

“It’s time for India’s new government that came to power with the promise of ‘achhe din aayenge’—meaning ‘better days are ahead’—to lead the way to a cleaner, secure future without repeating mistakes that we now know can be avoided.”