‘Clean energy is the order of the day’. Describe briefly India’s changing policy towards climate change in various international fora in the context of geopolitics. (250 words) [2022]

India’s changing policy towards climate change in various international fora can be understood in the context of geopolitics. Here is a brief description of India’s evolving approach:

  • Balancing national development and climate commitments:
    • India has emphasized the need for clean energy as a crucial component of its development agenda, recognizing the importance of sustainable and low-carbon growth.
    • It has launched several domestic initiatives to promote renewable energy, such as the National Solar Mission and the International Solar Alliance.
    • India’s policy approach aims to strike a balance between addressing climate change and ensuring energy access and poverty alleviation for its large population.
  • Shifting from defensive posture to proactive engagement:
    • In the past, India maintained a defensive stance in climate negotiations, prioritizing equity and historical responsibilities.
    • However, there has been a gradual shift towards proactive engagement and assuming leadership roles in international climate fora.
    • India played a pivotal role in the successful adoption of the Paris Agreement and has since been actively involved in its implementation.
  • Leveraging geopolitical opportunities:
    • India recognizes the geopolitical advantages of positioning itself as a global leader in clean energy and climate action.
    • It seeks to enhance its soft power and international standing by showcasing its commitment to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
    • India’s initiatives, such as the International Solar Alliance, aim to mobilize international support and cooperation, especially from developing countries, in advancing clean energy solutions.
  • Navigating international alliances and partnerships:
    • India has strategically aligned itself with other major emerging economies, such as China and Brazil, through groupings like BRICS and BASIC, to amplify its voice in international climate negotiations.
    • It actively participates in multilateral forums like the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and engages in bilateral and regional partnerships to foster technology transfer, capacity building, and financial support for climate projects.
  • Addressing domestic and international concerns:
    • India recognizes the need to address both domestic and international concerns regarding climate change.
    • Domestically, it focuses on enhancing energy efficiency, expanding renewable energy capacity, and improving climate resilience.
    • Internationally, India advocates for common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) and climate justice, highlighting the need for developed countries to fulfill their commitments and provide support to developing nations.

In conclusion, India’s changing policy towards climate change in international fora reflects its recognition of the need for clean energy and sustainable development. It has shifted from a defensive posture to proactive engagement, leveraging geopolitical opportunities and forging alliances. India’s approach aims to balance national development with climate commitments while addressing both domestic and international concerns.

Reference: ORF

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