India has set a net zero target by 2070. If this target is to be achieved, India will have to reduce its reliance on coal. However, decreasing coal production and use is complex as it will impact millions of workers, communities and coal-dependent states. In order to mitigate the impact on workers and communities in coal-dependent states, the states will have to enable a just energy transition and the planning will need to start from now.
Jharkhand, India’s most coal-dependent state has acknowledged the enormous just transition challenge and has taken a bold initiative by creating a new task force on just transition. The work and success of this task force has the potential to inspire other coal-dependent states to follow suit.
To get a ringside understanding of this just transition in Jharkhand we interviewed Mr. Ajay Kumar Rastogi, Chairman of Jharkhand’s Sustainable Just Transition Taskforce. Mr. Rastogi recently retired as the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests after serving for over three decades in key ministries of Forest and Climate Change, Land and Revenue in Jharkhand and Bihar.