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India’s negotiating position on climate change: legitimate but not sagacious

In the intergovernmental climate negotiations India has consistently argued against greenhouse gas mitigation commitments for developing countries. This short paper argues that while India’s position, given the burden sharing architecture of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol, is legitimate, it is not a sagacious position to hold.

The author argues that it is of critical importance that climate change concerns are mainstreamed into development planning, and concrete actions are taken to transition to a low carbon development pathway. It is also important that commitments are undertaken at a global level, if not now at some future point in time, for it is only cumulative global emissions reductions that will eventually impact the trajectory of climate change.

Areas considered include:

  • elements of India’s negotiating position
  • redistribution of the ecological space
  • common but differentiated responsibility and industrial countries’ leadership