Climate Policy, Energy Transitions, Environmental Governance and Policy


1st February, 2019

The Ecological Costs of Doing Business: Environment, Energy and Climate Change

Navroz K Dubash and Shibani Ghosh


What perspective did the BJP government bring to the link between environment, energy and climate change on the one hand and development on the other, and what consequent actions has it taken? In this essay published in ‘Re-forming India: The Nation Today’, Penguin India, the authors assess the government’s actions in areas of environment, energy and climate change with a view to interpreting its track record.

Focusing less on environmental outcomes and more on the changes in direction introduced by the government, Dubash and Ghosh explore four themes. First, they examine the government’s focus on the ‘cost of doing business’ and ask whether reducing this cost has come at an environmental price. Second, they analyse cases in which an environment and energy agenda was driven by political imperatives, such as around energy access or Ganga rejuvenation. Third, they explore whether and how the government has addressed the emergent big picture environment and energy questions that will shape India’s future, beyond immediate regulatory changes. Finally, they examine its diplomacy in the areas of climate change and energy, and reflect on what the accumulated record implies in terms of India’s environmental governance.

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