Multilateral Diplomacy on Climate Change

in The Oxford Handbook of Foreign Policy in India
Edited by David M Malone, Srinath Raghavan, and C Raja Mohan
Oxford University Press
2015

This article reviews India’s foreign policy on climate change, arguing that while it is marked by tactical virtuosity, it increasingly exhibits strategic vacuity. The chapter traces the evolution of India’s role in international climate negotiations, noting particularly India’s key role in highlighting equity and enshrining the concept of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities’ as a cornerstone of the negotiation process. The chapter then examines the turbulent phase from 2007 onwards, when India, along with other large developing country allies, experimented with new articulations of climate policy. This discussion explores the emergent drivers of Indian climate policy, including international pressures, shifting domestic political context, the emergence of ‘co-benefits’ as a framing concept, and the role of key personalities. The chapter concludes by suggesting that an exclusive emphasis on an equitable climate deal should transition to an approach that provides equal attention to equity and effectiveness in international climate outcomes.