How do policymakers, businesses and civil society in India approach the challenge of climate change? What do they believe global climate negotiations will achieve and how? And how are Indian political and policy debates internalizing climate change? Relatively little is known globally about internal climate debate in emerging industrializing countries, but what happens in rapidly growing economies like India’s will increasingly shape global climate change outcomes.
This Handbook brings together prominent voices from India, including policymakers, politicians, business leaders, civil society activists and academics, to build a composite picture of contemporary Indian climate politics and policy. One section lays out the range of positions and substantive issues that shape Indian views on global climate negotiations. Another delves into national politics around climate change. A third looks at how climate change is beginning to be internalized in sectoral policy discussions over energy, urbanization, water, and forests. The volume is introduced by an essay that lays out the critical issues shaping climate politics in India, and its implications for global politics.
The papers show that, within India, climate change is approached primarily as a developmental challenge and is marked by efforts to explore how multiple objectives of development, equity and climate mitigation can simultaneously be met. In addition, Indian perspectives on climate negotiations are in a state of flux. Considerations of equity across countries and a focus on the primary responsibility for action of wealthy countries continue to be central, but there are growing voices of concern on the impacts of climate change on India. How domestic debates over climate governance are resolved in the coming years, and the evolution of India’s global negotiation stance are likely to be important inputs toward creating shared understandings across countries in the years ahead, and identify ways forward. This volume on the Indian experience with climate change and development is a valuable contribution to both purposes.