Hogsback on why India needs to stop burning wood

HOGSBACK reckons Adani critics should take heed of the warnings of the New South Wales environmental watchdog about burning wood for heating before they start throwing stones at the company for wanting to export coal to India.
Hogsback on why India needs to stop burning wood Hogsback on why India needs to stop burning wood Hogsback on why India needs to stop burning wood Hogsback on why India needs to stop burning wood Hogsback on why India needs to stop burning wood

The NSW Environmental Protection Authority has issued a timely reminder to coal-haters that wood is a natural material that produces harmful particle pollution when it is burnt.


EPA chief environmental regulator David Fowler said on cold winter days, wood smoke particles from inefficient heaters could become trapped close to the ground and impact health.


"Wood smoke isn't good smoke," he said.


"Wood smoke pollution affects everyone. Even in small amounts, wood smoke pollutants can be harmful especially to the young, frail or elderly."


Many coal-hating discussions probably take place in front of wood fires in Melbourne and Sydney without the participants giving a second thought to the terrible harm done to the atmosphere.


On top of this, Adani's strategy to export good quality Aussie thermal coal from Queensland's Galilee Basin from its Carmichael mine for use by power stations in India will ensure millions of Indians have access to power for lighting, heating and other domestic necessities without the need to burn wood or cow dung.


What many people in industrialised economies such as Australia do not seem to realise is developing nations need coal to bring themselves out of subsidence living, which is harmful for the environment because it relies on denuding the local areas of wood and then burning it.  


Adani is a major power generation and infrastructure player in India that is trying to plan ahead for the country's growing need for low cost but environmentally safe energy sources over the next 50 to 100 years.


India is tipped to overtake China as the world's most populous country some time later this century.


Adani realises this and understands the citizens of India are no different to any other nation - they want a rising standard of living and access to modern technology that needs to be driven by a reliable power supply.


The company has finally received the green light to proceed with the construction of the Carmichael mine and rail project - a development that should deliver 40 million tonnes of thermal coal to India every year over the next 60 years.


To the uninitiated these figures seem vast, but when compared to the enormous demand by Indians who are still burning wood to keep warm, it is really only a small start.