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INDIAN REGULATION AROUND CLIMATE CHANGE

------ Alin Rathore

INDIA’S ECONOMIC AND ETHICAL DILEMMAS:


India has played a pivotal role in multilateral climate negotiations, like playing a key role in establishing the principle of common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities. India also emphasised that the first-ever Global Stocktake should capture equity as an overarching concern, and acknowledge the serious lack of ambition among developed nations in tackling climate change. It stressed that “The First Global Stocktake outcome should not exclusively focus on future mitigation while disregarding historical responsibility and pre-2020 emissions. Pre-2020 is the foundation upon which climate action must be built, and as such, pre-2020 gaps should be addressed as a matter of priority to advance long-term climate action and protect the integrity of the Paris Agreement.”


In this essay, I will argue that (1) decentralisation of policies is required in Indian regulation around climate change (2) suggest economic models (based on ecologism) deal with deviations (3) The ‘green governmentality’ identified by Lipschutz and McKendry would help mould citizens of a new ecological order, whose consumption demands could look quite different from those characteristics of industrial society (4) Effective action on regulation could benefit from taking a more cosmopolitan approach to justice, one in which people rather than nations are the subjects of moral considerability and responsibility.


India is a prime example of the theory of state in global regulatory politics as both a developmental and a regulatory force. It has the potential to promote structural economic change in polluting sectors through its industrial policy. India’s first coastal protection has established links between engineering, economic, physical, legal, social, environmental and governmental intricacies using the “environment softness ladder”


To target energy generation and saving, the “renewable energy certificate” and “perform achieve trade mechanisms” in India are designed in line with the clean development mechanism. India’s 2021-22 Economic survey highlights that investments in resilient infrastructure and green technology can safeguard the economy from future climate-induced uncertainties. The major problem lies in the ineffective transition from domestic sources of green finance to a growing pool of international sources of climate finance.IPCC assessment reports have several times shown that “Most models use a global least-cost approach to mitigation portfolios and with universal emission trading, assuming transparent markets, no transaction cost, and thus perfect implementation of mitigation measures throughout the 21st century”. Such statements underestimate the mitigation costs for developing countries.


SOLUTIONS:


A basic normative framework for Indian regulation around climate change should follow a transition from ‘environmentalism’ to ‘ecologism’, since, environmentalism only follows a ‘single issue’ in green politics rather than denoting fully-fledged political views on non-resource as well as environmental concerns.


Even though the Reserve Bank of India has identified climate change as a potential risk to the stability of the financial system, there has been little legislative action in this regard. Such action is also required to safeguard the interests of Indian investors. A dynamic recursive energy-economy model that represents a world with market imperfections and short-run adjustments will help to reduce the higher mitigation costs due to macroeconomic pressures in developing countries. Moreover, such a strategy of international financial transfers guided by moderate deviations from uniform carbon pricing could achieve the goal without straining either the economies or sovereignty of nations.


Even though the Reserve Bank of India has identified climate change as a potential risk to the stability of the financial system, there has been little legislative action in this regard. Such action is also required to safeguard the interests of Indian investors. A dynamic recursive energy-economy model that represents a world with market imperfections and short-run adjustments will help to reduce the higher mitigation costs due to macroeconomic pressures in developing countries. Moreover, such a strategy of international financial transfers guided by moderate deviations from uniform carbon pricing could achieve the goal without straining either the economies or sovereignty of nations.


Bamboo grown in non-forest areas has been removed from the purview of restrictions on its felling and interstate transportation by the government of India by amending the Forest Act 1927. This can be used to increase the commercialisation of bamboo and thereby increase the green cover of the country by boosting the interest of farmers, and entrepreneurs in the cultivation, treatment and processing of Bamboo. Farmers can earn up to 800 USD per hectare annually by selling raw bamboo from their degraded land. Bamboo cultivation can generate around 10 CERs per hectare annually, which can be traded as carbon credits.


There should be an inclusion of water sector reforms premised on ‘climate change’ conceived as an environmental issue and not only on ‘water scarcity’. The focus on centralisation in water law is due to the macro-level view of climate change, this deprives decentralisation of its constitutional mandate. Small check dams built across rivers in India’s drylands can revitalize rivers during the dry season and mitigate local climate change consequences. A study showed that 356 check dams constructed during 1990-2012 across the tribal drylands of India, with a cost of USD 17 million, benefited over one million people from farming communities. In this context, using treaty-based litigation to spur the remediation of tribal lands should be a priority as well.


CONCLUSION :


The political philosopher John Rawls (1971) once famously proclaimed that justice should be the first virtue of social institutions. Itself disputable, that ideal remains a distant aspiration when it comes to climate change. Considerations of justice have often been marginalised in favour of economic efficiency and aggregate welfare in public policies and intergovernmental negotiations. Yet climate justice does inform policy debates and positions taken in negotiations, as well as political activism in India. Such activism can be led by civil society organisations in India through specific contact points which involve private organisations, financial institutions and village, and tribal communities as well. Sagoff has also argued that the asymmetry of burdens and benefits across generations means that economic thinking should not be the only thing at the core of climate policy analysis.


REFERENCES :


1. Bhaduri, A. (2021). Taking the heat: (Non) disclosure of climate change risks in India. Business Law Review, 42(Issue 3), 152-158.

2. Black, K. P., Baba, M., Mathew, J., Kurian, N. P., & Ilic, A. (2021). Guidelines to prepare India's coast for climate change. Journal of Coastal Research, 37(6).

3. Climate change and Indigenous Peoples. Climate Change and Law Collection.

4. Cullet, P., Bhullar, L., & Koonan, S. (2018). Regulating the interactions between climate change and groundwater: Lessons from India. Groundwater and Climate Change, 6-22.

5. Eccleshall, R., Geoghegan, V., Jay, R., Keeny, M., MacKenzie, I., & Wilford, R. (2014). Political ideologies: An introduction. Routledge.

6. How is India tackling climate change? (2022, November 7). Grantham Research Institute on climate change and the environment. https://www.lse.ac.uk/granthaminstitute/explainers/how-is-india-tackling-climate-change/

7. Jha, V. (2022). India and climate change: Old traditions, new strategies. India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs, 78(2), 280-296.

8. Kumar, R., & Agarwala, A. (2013). Renewable energy certificate and perform, achieve trade mechanisms to enhance the energy security for India. Energy Policy, 55, 669-676. 9. Mathy, S., & Guivarch, C. (2010). Climate policies in a second-best world—A case study on India. Energy Policy, 38(3), 1519-1528.

10. Meckling, J. (2017). The developmental state in global regulation: Economic change and climate policy. European Journal of International Relations, 24(1), 58-81

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