ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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India and Climate Change: Some International Dimensions

Industrial countries have never been sympathetic to India's idea of controlling carbon emissions based on per capita targets. They prefer targets based on reductions in total emissions by developing countries, comparable or equivalent to those undertaken by them. This paper offers a new approach that tries to bolster the case for a per capita emissions approach by distinguishing the co2 emissions intensity of production and consumption from energy use per capita. It also outlines some projections that could lead to a reasonable emissions trajectory for India and one that is consistent with global efforts at addressing climate change. Looking at the role of trade in climate change, it concludes that the outcome will be messy if the trading system is burdened with the task of settling environmental problems.

Assessing Global Policy Advice

Ashima Goyal ("Avoiding Handicaps: Assessing Global Policy Advice for India", epw, 2 May 2009) in response to two papers "India and Bretton Woods II", and "Preventing and Responding to the Crisis of 2018" asserts that the arguments therein are inconsistent because the advice for international policy is in contradiction with the guidance for Indian domestic policy. No doubt there is a tension between both the articles, but there is no contradiction in the arguments and the policy proposals.

India and Bretton Woods II

The G-20 meeting in Washington on 15 November is an opportunity for India to help shape the new global economic architecture in line with its strategic interests. India should propose short-term crisis response actions and suggest a clear medium-term agenda. On the former, India needs to support globally coordinated actions to help limit the economic downturn, including a political commitment by all countries to keep markets open. The medium-term agenda would have, first, reforming the financial architecture, including by strengthening the International Monetary Fund's capacity to respond to crises and enhancing its legitimacy through radical governance reform to give greater say to the emerging powers. Second, securing openness of the trading system, which would require going beyond completing the current Doha agenda in two ways: deepening rules in existing areas (especially services) and developing rules in new areas (to deal with undervalued exchange rates, cartelisation of oil markets, investment restrictions and environmental protectionism). Third, reforming governance of the meta-process for global decision-making, including through the creation of a more representative membership than the G-7.

Jagdish Bhagwati and India's Trade Strategy Today

Going It Alone: The Case for Relaxed Reciprocity in Freeing Trade by Jagdish Bhagwati; MIT Press, 2002; pp 592 (Hardcover), $ 60.
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