The Domestic Politics of Global Climate Change

The Domestic Politics of Global Climate Change

Key Actors in International Climate Cooperation

New Horizons in Environmental Politics series

Edited by Guri Bang, Arild Underdal and Steinar Andresen

Why are some countries more willing and able than others to engage in climate change mitigation? The Domestic Politics of Global Climate Change compiles insights from experts in comparative politics and international relations to describe and explain climate policy trajectories of seven key actors: Brazil, China, the European Union, India, Japan, Russia, and the United States. Using a common conceptual framework, the authors find that ambitious climate policy change is limited by stable material parameters and that governmental supply of mitigation policies meet (or even exceed) societal demand in most cases. Given the important roles that the seven actors play in addressing global climate change, the book’s in-depth comparative analysis will help readers assess the prospects for a new and more effective international climate agreement for 2020 and beyond.

Chapter 5: Climate politics, emission scenarios and negotiation stances in India

Sunil Tankha and Trude Rauken

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental politics and policy, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, international politics


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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