Notes de l'Ifri Asie Visions

India’s Approach to Climate Negotiations: From the South to the North? Asie.Visions, No. 79, September 2015

India’s approach to climate negotiations results from the interplay of two distinct logics, an external one and an internal one. While the external logic is derived from quantitative attributes at the aggregate level, such as the overall size of India’s economy, the internal logic is derived from qualitative attributes at the individual level such as per person incomes and productivity. For three decades, from the early 1970s to the early 2000s, India’s internal and external logics overlapped.

This changed as the size of India’s economy grew to match that of large powerful countries. From then on, India sought to have a more constructive approach and began a shift toward some form of mitigation commitment. This however led to a growing contradiction with the internal logic, and hence, to a persistent dilemma in India’s negotiating posture. But of the two conflicting logics, the internal one is likely to overcome the external one. Immediate concerns such as poverty alleviation, development and the need for economic growth are seen to be more important than the contribution to global climate mitigation action. Thus, there is low probability of India deviating significantly from its insistence on adherence to principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities.


India’s Approach to Climate Negotiations: From the South to the North?
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