Ann Johanssen, Winning Photographer for the Climate Visuals Photography Award
WHAT IT SHOWS: Boys push a bicycle loaded with bags of scavenged coal along Main Road in Dhanbad, Jharkhand, India, October 28, 2018. Every day, men and boys push bicycles overloaded with coal on the streets of Dhanbad. One bag of coal can fetch between 150-160 rupees, slightly more than $2 on the black market. If the transporters are caught by police they can bribe their way out of this illegal trade. It is estimated that more than 50% of all coal extracted in Jharkhand ends up on the black market. The burning of coal is a major contributor to global warming.
The excavation and burning of coal is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gases worldwide that are causing climate change. India is the third largest producer of coal worldwide after China and the United States. In the United States, where most of us never come face to face with any aspect of coal, more than 27% of our electricity was generated by coal in 2018. Documenting coal in India is part of a long-term project, Climate Change Connected, that visually connects climate change causes, effects and impacts of climate change globally with the ultimate goal of making climate change relatable.