Climate Change - Perspectives from India

31 Dec 2009


A collection of perspectives on climate change in India outlines the need for greater debate on the links between climate change and development processes in the country.

Climate change is no more an environmental concern. It has emerged as the biggest developmental challenge for the planet. Its economic impacts, particularly on the poor, make it a major governance issue as well. The debates and discussions building up for the next conference of parties (CoP) in Copenhagen and beyond are an indicator of this.

To dialogue, particularly from the perspective of the poor, is one of UNDP’s contributions to overall development process. This collection of articles captures and disseminates some perspectives on climate change from the Indian context. Starting from an argument on a new climate deal to highlighting the importance of the small-scale industrial sector within climate change debates, some of India’s best known environmentalists, economists and policy makers have put forward their concerns and convictions in this collection.

Sunita Narain argues: “There is not much difference between managing a local forest and the global climate. Both are common property resources. What is needed most of all is a property rights framework, which encourages cooperation.” Prodipto Ghosh draws a line between facts and fictions by demystifying six myths built around India’s stands on climate change. His analysis brings out that a country can have both growth and less carbon emissions. NC Saxena articulates on the impact of climate change on food security in India that is already under threat due to various other reasons. He strongly advocates adaptation to climate change through soil and water conservation. Jyoti Parikh has identified the special vulnerabilities of women to climate change. She makes reasons for making gender an integral part of debates and discussions on climate change. Preeti Soni has brought into focus an important but ignored sector: the small-scale industries. The small-scale industries emit substantial greenhouse gases and have the potential for saving huge amount of energy. She has identified ways in which this sector can be made energy efficient.

We hope that this collection will ferment a debate that links climate change to overall development and will put a human face to the overall climate change debate. Because that is the way we can link economy to development.

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