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Mission LiFE: Advancing Environmental Sustainability And Fair Transition In The Coal Sector

The Indian Ministry of Coal adopts Mission LiFE principles to drive eco-friendly initiatives in the coal sector, emphasising community engagement and individual action for environmental sustainability and a fair transition

The Government of India is to ensuring a sustainable coal sector that balances environmental concerns with the welfare of coal-reliant communities, recognising the sector’s crucial role in India’s energy security. In line with this commitment, the Ministry of Coal is integrating the principles of Mission LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) into the coal sector, focusing on individual action to mitigate climate change.

Coal/Lignite Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), under the Ministry of Coal’s guidance, are actively implementing sustainable initiatives aligned with Mission LiFE to promote eco-friendly lifestyles among employees and coal-dependent communities. These efforts include awareness campaigns on waste reduction, distribution of fruit-bearing plants, and organising events like essay competitions and cycling programs. Additionally, PSUs are emphasizing environmentally responsible behaviours through activities such as plastic waste collection drives and seminars on home composting.

As part of the People-Centric Greening Initiative, Coal/Lignite PSUs are working on extensive plantation programs to reduce the carbon footprint associated with coal mining. Over the past five years, they have planted more than 235 lakh native saplings across various locations, covering an area exceeding 10,784 hectares. These efforts contribute to enhancing the carbon sink and promoting a greener environment for local communities.

In the community-centric initiative of Eco-Mine Tourism, Coal/Lignite PSUs are developing Eco-Parks and Eco-Tourism sites on de-coaled areas to enhance local tourism and conservation. Over the past five years, they have established 16 Eco-Parks/Mine Tourism sites, with plans for 23 more in the coming years, aiming to create sustainable and engaging spaces for local communities.

In line with Sustainable Development Goal 6, Coal/Lignite PSUs are focusing on the conservation and efficient utilisation of mine water for community purposes such as domestic use and irrigation. Over the last five years, approximately 16,808 lakh kilolitres of mine water have been utilized, benefiting around 17.7 lakh people across 981 villages annually.

Coal/Lignite PSUs are also focusing on gainful utilisation of overburden, establishing OB processing plants and M-sand plants to produce M-sand from overburden. This initiative helps in decreasing reliance on river bed mining for sand, preserving river ecosystems, and mitigating environmental impact.

Energy efficiency measures implemented by Coal/Lignite PSUs have resulted in remarkable savings, including conservation of 14.34 crore kWh units, translating to substantial savings of Rs 107.6 crore and reduction of 1.17 lakh tonnes of CO2 emissions. These initiatives align with India’s commitment to reducing emissions intensity and demonstrate the integral role of sustainable practices in fostering a healthier and more resilient community.

The Ministry of Coal prioritises the concept of a “Just Transition,” aiming to support affected communities and promote environmental sustainability. Coal/Lignite PSUs, guided by the Ministry of Coal, are actively implementing sustainable initiatives in line with these principles, ensuring a fair and environmentally responsible transition for all stakeholders involved.

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