Avenues for Climate Change Litigation in India

Summary of the book

As frustration mounts in some quarters at the perceived inadequacy or speed of international action on climate change, and as the likelihood of significant impacts grows, the focus is increasingly turning to liability for climate change damage. Actual or potential climate change liability implicates a growing range of actors, including governments, industry, businesses, non-governmental organisations, individuals and legal practitioners. Climate Change Liability provides an objective, rigorous and accessible overview of the existing law and the direction it might take in seventeen developed and developing countries and the European Union. In some jurisdictions, the applicable law is less developed and less the subject of current debate. In others, actions for various kinds of climate change liability have already been brought, including high profile cases such as Massachusetts v. EPA in the United States. Each chapter explores the potential for and barriers to climate change liability in private and public law.

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The National Environment Assessment and Monitoring Agency: A Step Forward?

Introduction

The Ministry of Environment and Forests’ initiative to set up an independent environmental regulator is a positive one and acknowledges the problems in the current system of regulations. Yet, a perusal of the proposal suggests that it has a number of limitations and therefore has to be rejected. But it is equally important that viable alternatives to the proposed agency are actively constructed.

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Mapping Global Energy Governance

Introduction

The challenges inherent in energy policy form an increasingly large proportion of the great issues of global governance. These energy challenges reflect numerous transnational market or governance failures, and their solutions are likely to require a number of global components that can support or constrain national energy policy. Governing energy globally requires approaches that can simultaneously cope with three realities: the highly fragmented and conflictual nature of the current inter-state system’s efforts to govern energy; the diversity of institutions and actors relevant to energy; and the dominance of national processes of energy decision making that are not effectively integrated into global institutions.

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Introduction to the Special Issue: Governing Energy in a Fragmented World

Introduction

This special issue brings together leading experts from Asia, Europe and North America to examine the international institutions, national governance mechanisms and financing systems that together will determine the future of the energy sector. The enormous environmental externalities imposed by fossil fuel extraction and consumption, the devastating corruption and human rights abuses that have accompanied this energy system, and the geopolitical vulnerabilities that have arisen because of the uneven natural distribution of these resources, have occasioned enormous handwringing – but not, yet, a shift to a more rational system of providing energy services. Although national governments play the dominant role in energy governance, these challenges are beyond the scope of any single national government to manage, making energy policy a key component of global governance and international relations.

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From Norm-Taker to Norm-Maker? Indian Energy Governance in Global Context

Introduction

This article examines how India’s domestic energy challenges have been shaped by global forces and how, in turn, India has engaged and is likely to engage in discussions of global energy governance. A central theme is that exploring India’s engagement in global energy governance requires a clear understanding of its domestic energy context and how this has changed over time. The article develops three narratives that have guided Indian energy governance domestically: state control; the grafting on of market institutions; and the embryonic linkage between energy security and climate change. In all these phases, Indian energy has been strongly influenced by global trends, but these have been filtered through India’s political economy, creating outcomes that constrain future policy implementation. This path dependent story also carries implications for India’s engagement with global energy governance. With the rise of a new narrative around energy security, increasingly leavened with invocations of clean energy, India is positioned to reformulate its engagement in global debates. However, the perceived need, strategic clarity and resultant eagerness to engage in the task are all limited.

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Beyond Copenhagen: Next Steps

Introduction

Although not for the reason most climate watchers anticipated, the 15th Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the fifth Meeting of the Parties (CMP-5) to the Kyoto Protocol at Copenhagen marked an important moment in the history of the climate negotiations. Despite considerable political pressure, a much-anticipated legally binding instrument did not emerge from Copenhagen. But Copenhagen was remarkable nevertheless. Never before had an international negotiation attracted 125 heads of state and government, and expended as much political capital, yet failed to deliver in quite so spectacular a fashion. And never before had outcomes been this dramatically misaligned with popular expectations. There are many lessons to be learned from the Copenhagen experience, both substantively and in terms of process.

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