Over the past few months, we have taken stock of our work, and reflected on its future direction. This process has led us to make explicit what has been implicit in our work so far – energy, environment, and climate are interlinked issues in India’s development context. For this reason, we have modified our name to the CPR Initiative on Climate, Energy, and Environment.
We will broadly look at the following themes:
Understanding and interpreting the global climate change regime
The contours of the international climate change debate and negotiating process will be significantly shaped by the Paris Agreement, but there is considerable work remaining to flesh out key elements like transparency, global stocktake and compliance. This process has significant implications for India’s interests in both mitigation and adaptation. We will continue to build on our past work on international climate law and policy, comparative country experience, and our formal and informal engagement with international processes to help build a more robust, effective and equitable climate regime. Forthcoming work includes:
- International Climate Change Law, co-authored by Daniel Bodansky, Jutta Brunnee and Lavanya Rajamani, forthcoming from Oxford University Press (March 2017).
- ‘Safeguarding Development and Limiting Vulnerability: India’s Stakes in the Paris Agreement’, forthcoming in WIREs Climate Change, by Navroz K. Dubash.
Strategic and sectoral debates on India’s energy future
India’s energy sector faces transformational changes in the next decade on both the demand and supply sides, with significant socio-economic and environmental implications. Our aim is twofold: to stimulate and inform a debate around the strategic priorities for India’s energy future, and the complementary institutional mechanisms; and to explore specific energy sub-sectors that are critical to the country’s future, in particular, the buildings and the electricity sectors. Ongoing work includes:
- Mapping Power: Research into the political economy of electricity distribution in 12 states across India.
- Research on India’s Built Environment led by Radhika Khosla, including analysis on technology deployment and the role of demand-side solutions.
- Analytical and institutional analysis of India’s future energy and carbon emissions trends.
Integration across energy, environment and climate outcomes
Integrating decision making across energy, environment and climate objectives will assume greater importance, particularly as local environmental constraints on growth get more stringent, and as climate policy is ’nationally determined’. We will seek to operationalize, implement, and promote, an integrated approach to climate and development, recognizing the potential for synergies and trade-offs across the multiple objectives of energy, environment and climate polity. Ongoing work includes:
- Multiple Objective-Based Energy and Climate Policy: Field application of methods to evaluate trade-offs and synergies across energy objectives, starting with a rural cooking study.
Institutional, legal and regulatory architecture for environmental governance
As India develops, environmental and social implications of economic decisions will be considerable. A robust legal and regulatory architecture will be needed, that supports integration across multiple objectives, enables long-term strategic thinking, and facilitates effective institutional structures. We will focus on analysing key issues of domestic environmental law, governance and regulation, and in particular consider institutional capacities for strategic environmental governance. Forthcoming work includes:
- Key Principles of Indian Environmental Jurisprudence edited by Shibani Ghosh, forthcoming from Orient Blackswan (2017).
- Analysis of the constitution and functioning of appellate authorities under the Water Act 1974.
These areas maintain continuity with and extend our past work, but also chart out new areas. As we go forward, our approach and intent remains the same: to inform and deepen public debate through policy research, academic writing, teaching, participation in international and domestic expert groups, and civil society engagement. We look forward to continuing our robust engagement with our colleagues in various spheres as we move forward.