Adani: “The might of the west sits on a carpet of carbon soot”

The billionaire founder of India’s Adani Group, Gautam Adani, has hit out at western-based critics of India’s efforts to decarbonise its economy.

Adani’s explosive remarks were made during a presentation earlier today at the J.P. Morgan Annual India Investor Summit.

“Those criticising the pace of climate reform in countries like India must remember that the economic and industrial might of the west sits on a carpet of a carbon soot several centuries deep,” he said.

“A hundred years ago, today’s climate reformers were burning over 800 million metric tonnes of coal, that is more coal than what India produces today.

“From pre-industrial times, until now, India accounts for only 3 per cent of the extra carbon in the atmosphere and will eventually end up consuming less than 8 per cent of the entire remaining carbon budget, all this while supporting one-sixth of the world’s population and being one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

“The prosperous man in his brightly lit home with more than one car in the driveway cannot insist that the poor farmer give up his only cow and keep his house dark to save the world from greenhouse gas emissions, there has to be a more equitable way.

“In my country more than a quarter billion households a millions of small businesses that create jobs rely on the availability of cheaply produced electricity. To switch off that power without an economical alternative in place will put hundreds of millions of people on an accelerated path to darkness.

Adani Group renewables investment to top $20 billion

The industrialist, however, didn’t balk from the responsibility that comes with leading one of India largest conglomerates.

During his speech he announced a multi-billion dollar investment into renewables, with the capital expenditure to be rolled out by Adani Group over the next decade.

“Over the next 10 years we will invest over 20 billion dollars across renewable energy generation, component manufacturing, transmission & distribution”, he said.

“We are now India’s largest private sector power producer, largest private port operator, largest private airport operator, largest private consumer gas and electric utility business, largest private electric transmission company and largest infrastructure developer in renewables,”

“This puts us well on track to be the world’s largest renewable power generating company by 2030. This also opens up several new pathways for us including setting us up to be one of the largest green hydrogen producers in the world.”

Mr Adani, 59, founded Adani Group in 1988. He has an estimated family net wealth of close to $80 billion.

Forbes lists him as the second-richest man in Asia.

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