Key Actors in International Climate Cooperation
New Horizons in Environmental Politics series
Edited by Guri Bang, Arild Underdal and Steinar Andresen
Chapter 5: Climate politics, emission scenarios and negotiation stances in India
India’s development goals and needs will trump climate change issues, meaning the country is unwilling to make commitments to reduce emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). India argues for its right to development, but at the same time India is highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, putting climate change on the agenda of Indian decision-makers. At the same time, being the world’s third largest emitter India plays an integral part in future emission scenarios. Still, there are few signs of large emission cuts in India. India has fossil fuel–dependent energy production and there is little political leeway to cut emissions if seen as limiting economic growth. Instead, India’s policy-makers tend to focus more on adaptation, and civil society and the general citizenry in India are not in favour of emissions curbs for mitigation purposes. Thus international pressure alone is not likely to lead to a strong commitment to cut emissions in India. Instead, India will keep economic growth as its primary goal, but if emission-reducing measures are seen as economically profitable India is more likely to embrace them.
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