ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Navroz K DubashSubscribe to RSS - Navroz K Dubash

Trump’s Toxic Announcement on Climate Change

President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States will exit from the Paris Agreement betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the way the agreement works. It also goes against long-agreed climate principles, and is blind to emergent clean energy trends. In practical terms, the US had activated a rollback of mitigation policies and contributions to climate finance prior to this announcement. Until there are changes in domestic US climate politics—of which there are positive signs—the US cannot be regarded a reliable partner for global climate cooperation.

Recovering Key Strategic Concepts in India's Climate Policy

A reply to "Paris Agreement: Differentiation without Historical Responsibility?" by Kirit S Parikh and Jyoti K Parikh (EPW, 9 April 2016), which deepens the discussion on the key concepts of co-benefits and historical responsibility.

Evolution of Institutions for Climate Policy in India

The growing focus on climate policy in India is not matched by an equivalent level of attention to institutions . Effective institutions are also needed for the design, coordination and implementation of policy. This paper examines the functioning of institutions, organised around three periods: pre-2007; 2007 to 2009 and 2010 to mid-2014. Several key themes emerge: First, the formation of climate institutions has often been ad hoc and is inadequately geared to India's co-benefits based approach to climate policy. Second, there is a lack of continuity in institutions, once established. Third, coordination across government has been uneven and episodic. Fourth, while various efforts at knowledge generation have been attempted, they do not add up to a mechanism for sustained and consistent strategic thinking on climate change. Fifth, the overall capacity within government remains limited. Sixth, capacity shortfalls are exacerbated by closed structures of governance that only partially draw on external expertise.

Towards Methodologies for Multiple Objective-Based Energy and Climate Policy

Planning for India's energy future requires addressing multiple and simultaneous economic, social and environmental challenges. While there has been conceptual progress towards harnessing their synergies, there are limited methodologies available for operationalising a multiple objective framework for development and climate policy. This paper proposes a "multi-criteria decision analysis" approach to this problem, using illustrative examples from the cooking and buildings sectors. An MCDA approach enables policy processes that are analytically rigorous, participative and transparent, which are required to address India's complex energy and climate challenges.

Neither Brake Nor Accelerator

What does India's Intended Nationally Determined Contribution imply for its approach to climate negotiations? And what implications does it have for domestic development choices? This article examines India's INDC through each lens, to understand the implied logic with regard to India's complex climate-development choices, and with regard to its strategic international choices. It finds that the INDC reflects, as yet, an inadequate consideration of the climate and development linkages that should inform India's actions. The contribution reflects a strategic choice to be "middle of the road," which neither disrupts the fragile diplomatic consensus nor creates pressure for more urgent global action.

From Margins to Mainstream?

In 2009, the Government of India requested states to develop State Action Plans on Climate Change. Based on a detailed analysis of five state climate plans, this article finds that climate plans provide an important institutional platform to mainstream concerns of environmental sustainability into development planning but fail to update ideas of sustainability to include climate resilience. There are shortcomings in approach, process, formulation of outcomes, and implementation efforts. These shortcomings are united by a common thread - a tendency to prematurely view state climate plans as vehicles for generating implementable actions rather than an opportunity to redirect development towards climate resilience. However, if state plans are viewed as the beginning of a complex process of updating sustainable development planning rather than as an end in themselves, they provide a foundation upon which climate concerns can be more effectively mainstreamed in local development planning.

Indian Climate Change Policy

There is a growing body of climate-related policy in India; at the same time, there is no clear and consistent approach or framework that directs and guides these efforts. In this paper, we propose and develop a methodology for operationalising a co-benefits approach to climate policy formulation. We use the technique of multi-criteria analysis, which requires making choices between and examining trade-offs across multiple objectives of policy, such as growth, inclusion and environment. In addition, we develop a framework for consideration of implementation issues. We focus on policies related to energy; but we believe the approach can also be modified to address adaptation concerns. The structured tool of the sort proposed here would hopefully contribute to more informed and deliberative decision-making on climate-related issues.

Looking beyond Durban: Where To From Here?

The lesson for India after Durban is that it needs to formulate an approach that combines attention to industrialised countries' historical responsibility for the problem with an embrace of its own responsibility to explore low carbon development trajectories. This is both ethically defensible and strategically wise. Ironically, India's own domestic national approach of actively exploring "co-benefits" - policies that promote development while also yielding climate gains - suggests that it does take climate science seriously and has embraced responsibility as duty. However, by focusing on articulating rigid principles rather than building on actual policies and actions, it only weakens its own position.

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