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Opinions

Opinions

Design national framework climate laws to enable low-carbon resilient transformation

Navroz K Dubash | 15 February 2024

In countries where politics are embedded in local development concerns such as job creation or environmental issues, an enabling approach to climate law may work better than a purely regulatory approach.

Why closing schools does not protect children from air pollution

Arunesh Karkun and Abinaya Sarkar | 28 November 2023

It absolves educational institutions and government agencies of their responsibility towards ensuring clean air while hampering learning outcomes.

Rebalance attention from global target setting toward national climate politics and policy

Navroz K Dubash | 6 October 2023

The first Global Stocktake (GST) confirms that progress in reducing emissions is well behind what is required to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. What is to be done?

The G20 should forge a pact to support nations’ shifts to a low-carbon future

Navroz K Dubash | 5 July 2023

Fossil fuels should be used sparingly, in the areas where they contribute most to human welfare.

USD 100 Billion: Delivering The Nucleus Of Climate Finance

Aman Srivastava | 26 June 2023

Recent analysis has found that the finance that developed countries are reporting towards that USD 100 billion targets is not always going towards clear climate purposes – some of the projects that have been included in their reporting were a coal plant, a hotel expansion, chocolate stores, a movie, and an airport expansion.

Seeing India’s energy transition through its States

Ashwini K Swain, Ann Josey et al. | 7 June 2023

States are critical actors in India’s energy transition as there is a multi-tier governance of energy production and usage.

Keeping development at the forefront of India’s long-term climate strategy

Parth Bhatia, Mandakini Chandra et al. | 5 June 2023

India’s Long Term Low Emissions Development Strategy (LT-LEDS) sets out multiple low-carbon transitions, highlighting that climate action will be intimately tied to developmental processes.This article identifies some of the challenges and opportunities embedded within these transitions, and reflects on how these will impact developmental priorities such as employment and energy security.

Heatwaves will get worse. Invest in adapting now.

Aditya Valliathan Pillai and Satchit Balsari | 20 May 2023

India’s recent heat deaths are not outliers. They signal a dismal future unless we start taking the urgent threat of heat seriously.

The gaps in India’s ‘heat action plans’

Aditya Valiathan Pillai | 26 March 2023

​​The Indian government’s primary policy response to the life-threatening heat comes in the form of “heat action plans”. These plans urge a healthy mix of different solution types but most plans do not account for local context, are underfunded and are poor at identifying and targeting vulnerable groups.

A climate change survival guide to act on

Navroz K Dubash and Parth Bhatia | 24 March 2023

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change AR6 synthesis report is a sobering account of present and future damages to ecosystems.

India can play a key role in climate cooperation

Navroz K Dubash | 13 February 2023

India took on a key position on the world stage by assuming the presidency of G20. This year, India will aim to provide leadership to a group of countries that comprises 85% of the world’s GDP and 60% of its population. India must use its presidency to push for greater cooperation to combat complex climate issues.

India’s just energy transition is more than a coal story

Easwaran J Narassimhan, Ashwini K Swain et al. | 6 February 2023

India’s G-20 presidency is an opportunity for New Delhi to negotiate a deal for itself while also shaping international cooperation on just energy transitions.

Can a national carbon market help India cut both emissions and costs?

Aman Srivastava | 26 January 2023

The market must work in sync with a range of policy instruments. Stable institutional and regulatory structures must balance competing interests and trade-offs to ensure optimum coverage, caps, pricing and reporting.

Anti-smog guns, sprinklers, dust suppressants: How effective are these quick-fixes to air pollution?

Abinaya Sekar and Bhargav Krishna | 10 January 2023

With high water usage, questionable water quality and health risks, these methods have, at best, limited effects.

Weather the Change

Navroz K Dubash | 2 January 2023

2023 should be the year climate change is mainstreamed into India’s development decisions.

COP27 and the ambiguity about responsibility

Aman Srivastava and Anirudh Sridhar | 26 November 2022

With the new Loss and Damage fund, the line between victim and perpetrator has been blurred

Look beyond COP for climate action

Navroz K Dubash | 22 November 2022

COP27 will be marked for the loss and damage fund and stalled steps on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But the time has arrived to focus on what nations are doing at home, not global meets.

Health as the focus of air pollution policy

Bhargav Krishna and Sagnik Dey | 16 November 2022

Health must be turned into a feature and eventually a function of air pollution policy

Climate priorities: Tackling climate governance in India

Navroz K Dubash and Anirudh Sridhar | 15 November 2022

Addressing climate change through policy may not be enough. Legislation around climate can ensure economy-wide outcomes. Broader political context will also need to be considered, in India as in the rest of the world, while drawing laws to ensure that both environmental and development objectives are met.

As global warming proceeds, how can India introduce climate governance to law?

Navroz K Dubash and Anirudh Sridhar | 9 November 2022

Starting with a governance functions approach – identifying the problems to be solved – allows legal reform to be tailored to disparate national contexts.

Three small steps can solidify Modi’s Mission LiFE—urban planning to behavioural change

Navroz K Dubash, Annanya Mahajan et al. | 4 November 2022

As India takes over the G20 presidency in December, LiFE offers a platform to promote individual-led demand-side interventions on the international stage.

How could Indian law tackle climate governance?

Navroz K Dubash and Anirudh Sridhar | 4 November 2022

As climate change becomes an increasing concern, addressing the problem only through policy may not be enough. In this piece, Dubash and Sridhar suggest that legislation around climate can ensure economy-wide outcomes, and put forth nine considerations that countries hoping to implement climate law should satisfy to effectively tackle climate change.

The weakest link in the air pollution fight

Shibani Ghosh and Bhargav Krishna | 2 November 2022

As key environmental indicators worsen across India, it is clear that State Pollution Control Boards and Pollution Control Committees are falling short in meeting their statutory mandate

Two pivotal pillars that will dominate COP27

Navroz K Dubash | 1 November 2022

For the annual climate meet to facilitate action across the developed and developing world and enhance equity, North-South tensions on loss and damage as well as finance need redressal

COP27: We Need To Improve Climate Models To Make Better Policy

Aman Srivastava and Kaveri Iychettira | 1 November 2022

As COP27 approaches, the spotlight once again turns to building a compelling national narrative around climate change – based on what India can do and what India needs.

For clean air, strengthen pollution control boards

Shibani Ghosh | 31 October 2022

The boards were envisioned as autonomous entities, and strong political will coupled with bureaucratic support is required to realise this vision, even if it constrains the government’s (other) policy objectives.

Addressing North India’s burning issue sustainably

Bhargav Krishna | 21 October 2022

The issue of crop stubble burning cannot be addressed in a silo and using short-term, unsustainable solutions

As India Readies Its Carbon Market, a Q&A of What’s at Stake

Aman Srivastava and Ashwini K Swain | 20 October 2022

The creation of a national carbon market in India, depending on its institutional setup, policy integration and design could offer a mechanism to reduce emissions – or it could result in serious economic costs. The authors here put forth seven key considerations for its design – including India’s growth objectives, trade balance, fiscal revenues, and the effect on its MSMEs.

Trade-offs in carbon trading: Can a carbon market yield benefits for India?

Aman Srivastava and Ashwini K Swain | 18 October 2022

The creation of a national carbon market in India, depending on its institutional setup, policy integration, and design could offer a mechanism for reducing emissions, or it could result in serious economic costs.

Forging a national consensus on climate adaptation is key

Aditya Valliathan Pillai | 7 September 2022

Adaptation is best seen as a long-term anti-poverty measure whose policy relevance grows as the zone of climate vulnerability expands on the Indian map

Choosing a climate action path wisely

Navroz K Dubash | 5 September 2022

For a climate-sensitive development plan, India must walk a line between the ‘development-first climate-later’ view and the ‘untrammelled opportunity’ view

Why India’s Framework to Bank Renewable Energy Needs To Be Stronger

Catherine Ayallore | 22 August 2022

A technological solution to renewable energy source’s intermittency is the physical storage of energy. Thus, storage technologies are critical to a transition to RE heavy energy systems.

India needs to build a ‘climate-ready’ state

Navroz K Dubash | 15 August 2022

As climate change has already affected what constitutes effective development, a growing, aspirational nation such as India needs to factor climate considerations into its vision of future development

Why a Niti Aayog study on the economic costs of ‘judicial activism’ must be viewed with scepticism

Annanya Mahajan | 8 August 2022

The report fails to make its evaluations in an unbiased and rigorous manner.

Pledges, plans, and actions: An analysis of India’s Panchamrit pledges

Aman Srivastava and Ashwini K Swain | 12 July 2022

In anticipation of India updating its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), Aman Srivastava and Ashwini Swain evaluate the climate pledges made by Prime Minister Modi at COP26.

India at bottom in EPI 2022 but environment survey confuses and stifles honest discussion on climate change

Navroz K Dubash and Sharachchandra Lele | 14 June 2022

Methodology of Yale-Columbia Environmental Performance Index is indefensible, tone-deaf on ethics, ignorant of a long literature on climate equity, and inconsistent with broadly accepted politics.

Band-Aid Solutions Won’t Staunch India’s Power Crisis

Ashwini K Swain and Rohit Chandra | 31 May 2022

Current short-term fixes for India’s power crisis neither address rising uncertainty in the electricity system nor are aligned to a transition towards a 21st century energy system.

Climate Faultlines: India’s Lessons from the Glasgow COP26 Climate Negotiations

Navroz K Dubash | 11 May 2022

India’s engagement in Glasgow, while storied and multi-faceted, also exposed faultlines in Indian climate politics; the faultlines in framing, policy, institutions, and diplomacy need to be addressed cogently if the country is to successfully negotiate the many transitions ahead.

Three interlinking factors that explain the coal crisis

Ashwini K Swain | 5 May 2022

The current crisis can be explained by a demand surge, supply disruptions and dysfunctional cash flow.

Policy packages could transform India’s approach to the climate crisis

Parth Bhatia and Navroz K Dubash | 29 April 2022

For a country like India, a policy package approach could help unlock the social acceptability of transformative action.

Climate crisis: No universal solutions

Navroz K Dubash | 5 April 2022

The latest IPCC report says the world is not on track for achieving the mitigation goals. The response to that should be to redouble efforts and limit harm to the extent possible

Interview with Navroz Dubhash and Vishwa Mohan – ‘Need both steep reductions in short run and long-run action for net zero’

Navroz K Dubash | 5 April 2022

Without steep emission reductions across regions & sectors targets looks out of reach. Thinking about development and climate decisions together could maximise synergies across both.

Interview with Navroz Dubhash and Jayashree Nandi – ‘We aren’t on track for 1.5°C target: Navroz Dubash, IPCC report co-author’

Navroz K Dubash | 5 April 2022

There are many more policies and laws in place around the world that have played a role in enhancing energy efficiency, lowering deforestation and accelerated deployment of renewable energy.

Karnataka’s crumbling coastline shows climate battles are political

Aditya Valiathan Pillai | 30 March 2022

As the sea ravages coastal settlements, seawalls are springing up. But real solutions lie elsewhere, far away from the coast.

Air Crisis: India’s Toothless Pollution Response, Delhi-Centric Discourse To Blame

Bhargav Krishna | 28 March 2022

Air pollution is a national emergency. We must reject the discourse centred solely around Delhi and eschew the techno-fixes currently dominating the discourse and recognise the long-term transitions necessary to sustainably improve air quality.

जलवायु संकट में भारत की संघीय प्रणाली की पुनर्कल्पना

Parth Bhatia, Navroz K Dubash et al. | 15 March 2022

सभी देशों की तरह भारत के लिए भी, जलवायु परिवर्तन एक अत्यंत तेजी से बढती समस्या बन गई है। इस लेख के जरिये पिल्लई एवं अन्य तर्क देते हैं कि इस समस्या के समाधान के लिए भारत की संघीय प्रणाली की पुनर्कल्पना करने की आवश्यकता है, क्योंकि भारत के संविधान में जलवायु संबंधी कई क्षेत्रों में राज्यों के महत्वपूर्ण कर्त्तव्य निर्धारित किये गए हैं। वे जलवायु नीति में संस्थागत सुधार हेतु एक नए दृष्टिकोण का सुझाव देते हैं, जो राष्ट्रीय लक्ष्यों के लिए अपने कार्यों का समन्वय करते हुए राज्यों को पर्याप्त लचीलापन देगा।

Reimagining Indian federalism in the climate crisis

Parth Bhatia, Navroz K Dubash et al. | 7 February 2022

Addressing the issue of climate change requires reimagining Indian federalism, as the Indian Constitution gives states a crucial role in several arenas of climate action. The authors propose a new approach to institutional reform in climate policy, one that gives states adequate flexibility while coordinating their actions for national goals.

Bad air: Ad hocism won’t work anymore

Bhargav Krishna and Shibani Ghosh | 23 December 2021

Air pollution is a complex societal problem. We must recognise this and focus our attention on long-term policy pathways with clear goals and timelines

Clearing the air through the revised WHO guidelines

Bhargav Krishna and Santosh Harish | 25 September 2021

The revised WHO guidelines are a clear nudge from the health sector towards the deep decarbonisation of India’s economy

Hot and Flooded: What the IPCC Report Forecasts for India’s Development Future

Mandakini Chandra, Arunesh Karkun et al. | 4 September 2021

To embark on a low-carbon development pathway, India will need an institutional architecture with a more strategic bent.

States are the beating heart of climate action

Navroz K Dubash, Aditya Valiathan Pillai et al. | 2 August 2021

The Centre can play an important supporting role by providing credible analysis on low-carbon policy choices to the states when required.

Design a climate-ready governance system

Navroz K Dubash, Aditya Valiathan Pillai et al. | 24 June 2021

India needs new dedicated organisations, policy frameworks, and financing mechanisms. Begin with a low-carbon development commission

Developing countries need to chart their own course to net zero emissions

Navroz K Dubash, Harald Winkler et al. | 4 May 2021

Translating complex climate science into language people understand has always been difficult. At various times, the aim of different climate policies has been holding average global temperature rise to 2°C or 1.5°C, or ensuring emissions peak by a particular year. Net zero targets are the most recent attempt to simplify the climate crisis in order to make it manageable.

Net-zero emission targets are a hollow pledge

Navroz K Dubash | 24 March 2021

India needs a path that shows how a focus on opportunities for low-carbon development is more likely, in practice, to deliver emissions reductions than abstract future 2050 pledges

Proposing a new climate agenda for India

Navroz K Dubash | 24 March 2021

The Indian road to leadership should be based on near-term actions, institutional strengthening, and a combination of mid- and long-term targets

The surge of geopolitics in South Asia’s power trade

Aditya Valliathan Pillai | 24 March 2021

India’s new trade rules are political and an irritant; instead, New Delhi should be planning a stable institutional model

Give young environmentalists a voice

Navroz K Dubash | 22 February 2021

India has always argued that climate is linked to development choices, livelihoods and equity. Don’t ask activists to narrow down their concerns

What Can COVID-19 Teach Our Government About Communicating Air Quality?

Sharon Mathew and Arunesh Karkun | 16 December 2020

Making information widely accessible to the people has been central to India’s COVID-19 response. So if governments were to raise awareness and disseminate information on air pollution the way they have done with COVID-19, what might that look like?

Draft EIA notification dilutes environmental protections, is in denial of ecological crises

Shibani Ghosh | 11 August 2020

The environment ministry needs to be clear about its role — its mandate is to create and sustain a regulatory framework that prevents the plunder of our natural resources, not actively accelerate the pace of environmental devastation.

The interplay between the pandemic and pollution

Santosh Harish and Shibani Ghosh | 16 July 2020

It offers some opportunities. But the key is in contesting bad policies, which dilute environmental norms, processes

Global solar grid could cause sun burns

Aditya Valiathan Pillai | 25 June 2020

India’s recent experiences, and successful global models, deliver a clear message- power pools can’t be built without an institutional architecture other countries trust

A convergence of crises

Aditya Valiathan Pillai | 10 June 2020

Policy ideas should marry employment and industrial priorities with green outcomes

How Covid-19 can affect India’s energy transition goals

Ashwini K Swain | 8 May 2020

We must use this critical juncture to push for positive reforms and overdue structural changes to build a resilient electricity future

The politics of power in times of a pandemic

Ashwini K Swain | 20 April 2020

There is a slump in demand for electricity. This will create a financial crisis. But can it lead to reforms?

Imagining a different, better future

Navroz K Dubash | 26 March 2020

If sustained, behavioural changes, induced by Covid-19, can alter the way we live and work

Prepaid power is not the silver bullet to solve problem of discom finances

Ashwini K Swain | 10 March 2020

The Centre’s push for smart meters may be an important ingredient for transitioning to a 21st century electricity-system. However, let us not pretend it is the silver bullet to solve the long-standing problems of discom finance and losses.

Three ways by which Delhi’s Kejriwal govt can fulfil its promise to curb air pollution

Santosh Harish and Navroz K Dubash | 27 January 2020

On Delhi air pollution, the AAP government shouldn’t throw its hands up but formulate a concrete plan.

Bracing for the storm

Navroz K Dubash | 13 January 2020

To tackle climate change, not only does India need to pivot into a low-carbon future, it also needs to step up as a leader of climate-vulnerable countries.

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