Working Papers

The Principles of Climate Legislation


Centre for Policy Research

October 12, 2021

This draft discussion paper makes a case for debating the large conceptual questions surrounding climate change legislation before hastily arriving at solutions or jumping to the drafting procedure. It explores the chief questions of principle that would influence the form and structure of an Indian climate law. The questions considered are the following: (1) Should India pass a framework climate law or trigger a series of upgrades to existing laws? (2) Should an Indian climate law guarantee a ‘right to climate’ or aim to maximise utility/green growth? (3) Should the law articulate an ‘outcome duty’/ emissions cap or design ‘procedural duties’ to mainstream the climate issue in existing governance structures? The purpose of this exercise is to weigh the comparative advantage of these broad conceptual questions to determine what kind of legislative intervention would work best for India before exploring the content and features of a law that could achieve those goals – the latter of which will be done in a subsequent paper.

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