Policy Engagements and Blogs

Policy in Action- Climate Change

July 21, 2023

The Centre for Policy Research turns fifty this year. Fifty years in the service of Indian policymaking, of keeping a robust conversation between the government, policymakers and the Indian populace alive – this is indeed a moment of pride and reflection for us. As we celebrate this special milestone, we present some snippets of our impact on the Indian policy sphere over the years in various areas of research.

This edition of Policy in Action is dedicated to our work on Climate Change. CPR has been working on climate change policy issues for the last 14 years. Our early work was conducted with the intention of mainstreaming climate change into national policy conversations. We contributed to popularising the concept of ‘co-benefits’ – the idea that many measures to address climate mitigation, such as public transport that reduces congestion, also have development gains. We analysed for Indian policymakers and the public the implications of key international climate negotiation outcomes, particularly the Copenhagen Accord of 2009 and the 2015 Paris Agreement. Our researchers have played a role in key government committees, including the committee for the Planning Commission’s landmark ‘Low-Carbon Strategy for Inclusive Growth’, the first major government strategic document on low-carbon development, in 2014. We also undertook the first-ever analysis of India’s state action plans on climate change, shedding light on their importance in mainstreaming concerns of environmental sustainability into development planning.

Here’s a snapshot of our key work and impact in the area of climate change over the years:

  1. We played an important contributory role in laying out what a ‘co-benefits’ approach to climate change means in practice, the resultant framing of climate policy around multiple approaches, and methods for its implementation. Led by CPR’s Navroz K. Dubash, our subsequent research and public-facing work built on this approach. (Read more about the topic in Climate and Development and Economic and Political Weekly)
  2. The volumes Handbook of Climate Change and India (2012) and India in a Warming World: Integrating Climate Change and Development (2019), edited by Dubash, bring together prominent voices from India and are considered important resources for those interested in climate change in the Indian context.
  3. We discussed the use of energy and emissions modelling studies for climate policy-making in an award-winning paper in Environmental Research Letters. The resultant engagement with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) led to a request to CPR to lead, along with IIT-Delhi, the process of drafting India’s Long-Term Low Emissions Development Strategy (LT-LEDS).
  4. Our research on India’s heat action plans has informed policy guidance from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to the states, and shaped the design of subsequent heat action plans. Findings from our recent report on heat action plans were extensively covered by Indian and global media outlets and contributed to a more informed discourse on what India’s policy response to heat waves should be.

To know more about CPR’s history of work on Climate Change, you can access a timeline here. To see more details of the work on Climate Change, visit our website at https://cprindia.org/researcharea/climate-change/ or see the work of the Initiative on Climate, Energy and Environment at https://cprindia.org/research/initiative-on-climate-energy-environment/

Stay tuned for our next pop-up edition of Policy in Action, coming soon!