Creating the climate for India’s low carbon growth story

Creating the climate for India’s low carbon growth story

by The Daily Eye Team July 1 2014, 10:56 am Estimated Reading Time: 1 min, 25 secs

Buried under the din of the changing electoral climate, India took an important step in its fight against climate change this summer. The ‘Expert Group on Low Carbon Strategies for Inclusive Growth’ submitted a report laying out the roadmap for India to take on climate change proactively. Given the renewed interest in the so-called “environment vs growth” debate, this is of particular significance. The Expert Group was set up in the aftermath of the Copenhagen climate summit of December 2009, which famously took small but important steps in moving the climate change agenda forward. It had become clear in the run up to Copenhagen that India needed to do much more on climate change than just sermonizing, which was becoming its staple in international climate change conferences. As part of a new strategy to position India as a ‘deal maker’, India took on a more proactive facilitative role, especially at Copenhagen (Hillary Clinton has a fascinating discussion of one such critical meeting at Copenhagen in her new book, Hard Choices, as does India’s former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, a key sherpa at that meeting, in a recent oped. In addition, a number of measures were initiated on the domestic front. India committed to unilaterally reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 20-25 percent by 2020 (on a 2005 base) – this was India’s commitment in the Copenhagen Accord (there was domestic opposition to this pledge, but it was overcome). India also added a new term in is planning lexicon, with the Twelfth Five Year Plan, promising, ‘sustainable’ – in addition to ‘faster’ and ‘inclusive’ – growth.

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