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Climate adaption mainstreaming in India

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Elizabeth Gogoi, contributor to a landmark publication on India’s climate change preparedness, discusses learnings from the OPM led Action on Climate Today programme

As the climate crisis escalates, the implications a warming world has on poverty eradication and global development are stark; it is no longer possible to talk about development without considering climate change. In the lead up to the 25th Conference of the Parties (COP25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, taking place between 2 and 13 December in Madrid, Spain, leading voices in India’s climate change debate have come together to explore the complex challenges the country faces in tackling climate change and delivering on its commitments under the Paris climate agreement.

Published by Oxford University Press, and edited by the Centre for Policy Research, India in a Warming World: Integrating Climate Change and Development is a landmark publication designed to encourage public debate and deliberation on climate change as part of India’s wider development discourse.

Our senior climate consultant, Elizabeth Gogoi, contributed a chapter on State Climate Change Planning: Has it Reached the Mainstream. Drawing on learnings from OPM’s Action on Climate Today programme, Elizabeth explores the opportunities and challenges for mainstreaming climate adaptation at the state level in India.

India is the fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions globally and has committed to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of the economy by 33-35% by 2030. The Government of India aims to achieve this by expanding its renewable energy sector, among others, yet there are significant institutional, political, and economic challenges to overcome.

Elizabeth examines what steps state governments have taken since first developing State Action Plans on Climate Change, and how these plans have helped to integrate climate change risks and opportunities into development policies, and deliver on India’s climate commitments. Despite limited examples of state plans influencing the work of sectoral departments, they have provided a structure to shape new donor-funded programmes.

The chapter also examines the various governance challenges to mainstreaming climate adaption into policies, including political ownership and the extent of convergence with existing development agendas.

Through a collection of themes, each chapter aims to provide an accessible entry point to a topic, such as climate impacts, policy and climate, and international development linkages. The editor, Navroz Dubash, from the Centre for Policy Research, highlights:

“India in a Warming World explores the complex context for India’s engagement with climate change. It also argues that India, like other countries, can no longer ignore the problem, because a pathway to development innocent of climate change is no longer available. Bringing together leading researchers, activists, and policymakers, this volume lays out the emergent debate on climate change in India. Collectively, the chapters deepen clarity on why India should engage with climate change and how it can best do so.”

The book will be launched on 21 November by the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, India. Join the livestream of the event from 12.30 pm GMT.

For more information about the book, and to download a free PDF version, visit the Oxford University Press website. To learn more about OPM’s Action on Climate Today (ACT) programme, visit the project page and learning micro-site.