Indian Climate Policy: Choices and Challenges

On the heels of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s state visit to Washington and on the eve of the Copenhagen summit, we invite you to the launch of the Stimson Center’s latest publication, Indian Climate Policy: Choices and Challenges. In this new study, Indian analysts and Stimson experts examine the multiple constraints and possibilities informing New Delhi’s strategies for domestic action and its approach to international cooperation.

India looms increasingly large in global climate policy debates. Now one of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases, it is also one of the world’s leading producers of renewable power. Nearly half of its citizens lack access to electricity, requiring India to vastly expand energy production to fuel economic development. At the same time, the country’s food supplies and water resources are highly vulnerable to climate stresses. In the international arena, India has proven to be a canny negotiator, constantly seeking to balance the demands of major Western countries with the positions of the developing world. While observers have often treated it as a monolithic actor with a single set of objectives and opinions, Indian society in fact displays a rich, diverse, and often divergent array of viewpoints on climate change.

David Michel is Research Fellow in the Regional Voices: Transnational Challenges program at the Henry L. Stimson Center where he leads the Center’s work on environmental security and environmental governance. He is co-editor of Indian Climate Policy: Choices and Challenges.

Teresita Schaffer is Director of the South Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). Previously, during her 30-year career in the US Foreign Service, she was posted to New Delhi, Islamabad, and Dhaka, and served as US Ambassador to Sri Lanka from 1992 to 1995.

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