‘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.

Sample Answer

Introduction

By pledging 175GW of renewable energy and ratifying Paris Agreement, India signalled its climate commitment. In multilateral forums, India championed equitable governance. Through alliances like ISA, India gains leverage to steer the global energy transition, upholding interests of developing countries. India’s climate leadership portends its geopolitical rise as an ecologically-responsible power.

Body

Change in India’s Climate Policy

  • Dilution of UNFCCC by engaging on multiple platforms to tackle Climate change like QUAD.
  • Insistence on “Common but Differentiated responsibility” (CBDR) principle has been toned down by adopting Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under framework of UNFCCC.  
  • Proactive engagement to Handle Climate Crisis rather than waiting for developed countries to assume responsibility of Historical Emissions.

Aligning Climate Priority with Geopolitical engagements:

In an era of geopolitical flux, India has been pursuing foreign policy Goals on Bilateral, Minilaterals and Multilateral forums where it has emphasised Climate Change.

Bilateral

  • Partnership for Green & Sustainable Development (Germany)
  • Engagement with small islands vulnerable to climate change via – FIPIC.
  • Climate Action and Finance Mobilization Dialogue (CAFMD) with US under India-US Climate Clean Energy Agenda 2030.

Minilaterals

  • QUAD: Launching “Quad Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Package (Q-CHAMP)”
  • IPEF: Clean energy and decarbonisation as one of the pillars
  • I2U2: Clean Energy is a pillar, hybrid renewable energy project in Gujarat.
  • Partnership for Global Infrastructure and investment – laid focus on climate action and clean energy.

Multi-Lateral

  • Proactive Achievement of NDCs and Setting Target of Updated NDC under Paris Agreement.
  • Pledging to become net zero emitter of carbon by 2070 to achieving 500 gigawatts non-fossil energy capacity by 2030.
  • Launching ‘One Sun, One World, One Grid’ (OSOWOG)
  • Urged G20 countries to bring down per capita emissions to global average by 2030.
  • WTO (Agreement to curb ‘harmful’ subsidies on illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing) First-time trade issues have been balanced with Environmental issues under WTO. 

Conclusion

Thus, India is playing a leading role in Climate negotiations on all the important Geo-Political Platforms.

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