Rethinking India’s climate policy and the global negotiations

This essay examines India’s position in international negotiations on climate change and domestic mitigation actions, based on scientific evidence and equity. It is argued that India’s stance has largely been reactive to positions taken by developed countries, particularly the US. Scientific predictions of the imminent climate crisis have been inadequately factored into policies. India, along with its South Asian neighbours, is among those regions considered to be the worst affected by climate related impacts. This should have – but has not – driven India to champion the urgent achievement of an equitable global emissions control agreement, as LDCs and Small Islands States have done. India has made quite serious mitigation commitments in international fora, but their translation into policies has been met with mixed success, and the evolution of a holistic, domestically equitable low-carbon development pathway appears a distant dream.