Winds of Change: India's Emerging Climate Strategy

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June 2011

The International Spectator

By Namrata Patodia Rastogi

India’s approach to climate change has shifted dramatically in the span of a few years. Not only has India developed a comprehensive climate change program domestically, it has adopted a new stance in the international negotiations that has earned it the reputation of being a ‘deal maker’. This dramatic, and to many unexpected, shift in India’s climate change strategy can be understood if seen in the context of India’s economic and development aspirations and the changes occurring in the larger geopolitical landscape. Climate change, due to its multi-faceted nature, cuts across a spectrum of issues and India can benefit both domestically and internationally by addressing it. India’s desire to play a strategically important role in a new global order as well as deal with domestically critical issues like energy security and energy access, all coalesce with the climate issue. By engaging proactively on climate change, India may be able to advance all of these objectives at once. To succeed, it must demonstrate that action on climate change does not come at the expense of economic growth or development goals, and that these can, in reality, go hand in hand.

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