India in International Climate Negotiations: Chequered Trajectory

India in International Climate Negotiations: Chequered Trajectory

By D Raghunandan
in India in a Warming World: Integrating Climate Change and Development
Edited by Navroz K Dubash
Oxford University Press
2019

A popular view of India’s role in climate negotiations is that it has successfully protected its interests in avoiding emissions control obligations while representing the positons of developing countries. A more critical appraisal shows that Indian creativity in shaping the agenda in pre-Kyoto years was replaced by foreign policy objectives, particularly its aim of advancing a strategic alliance with the US. A negotiating position driven by a scientific understanding of its domestic vulnerabilities would have reinforced Indian support to the positions of developing countries, and might have yielded a different outcome in Paris. The architecture, as it stands, is a low-ambition emissions control regime that favors developed countries by diminishing notions of historic responsibility and equity.

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