An analysis of the State Strategy and Action plan on Climate Change, Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh (HP), like many other hill states, has been seeking to build a ‘green’ image.1 The Himachal Pradesh Strategy and Action Plan on Climate Change, is an extension of this focus and received considerable political interest when it was drafted. But the HP plan is also a study in how climate policy planning is fashioned by central government directives seeking an adaptation-focused document, and the prospect of external funding that is conditional upon some mitigation focus. This was compounded by a change in the government – more than halfway through the policy process – aligned to the government at the Centre. The resultant document is a broad statement of intent proposing several lists of adaptation objectives and some mitigation measures without committing to the state’s most ambitious mitigation target – achieving carbon neutrality. In fact it is now unclear
if the new government plans to meet that target.2 Crucially, while the HP climate plan is a repository for sustainable development action in the state, much of the climate science research that should have informed the plan in the pre-draft stages, is consigned to a list of recommendations for future action. The HP plan was largely driven by the Department of Environment, Science, and Technology (DEST). The plan, as of January 2014, had not yet been endorsed by the central government’s National Steering Committee.