Developments in national climate change mitigation legislation and strategy

Summary

The results are presented from a survey of national legislation and strategies to mitigate climate change covering almost all United Nations member states between 2007 and 2012. This data set is distinguished from the existing literature in its breadth of coverage, its focus on national policies (rather than international pledges), and on the use of objective metrics rather than normative criteria. The focus of the data is limited to national climate legislation and strategies and does not cover subnational or sectoral measures. Climate legislation and strategies are important because they can: enhance incentives for climate mitigation; provide mechanisms for mainstreaming; and provide a focal point for actors. Three broad findings emerge. First, there has been a substantial increase in climate legislation and strategies between 2007 and 2012: 67% of global GHG emissions are now under national climate legislation or strategy compared to 45% in 2007. Second, there are substantial regional effects to the patterns, with most increases in non-Annex I countries, particularly in Asia and Latin America. Third, many more countries have adopted climate strategies than have adopted climate legislation between 2007 and 2012. The article concludes with recommendations for future research.

Read more

Demystifying the Environmental Clearance Process in India

Introduction

In recent years there have been several controversies regarding projects being granted (or denied) environmental regulatory approvals. While many civil society groups and those adversely affected believe that legal procedures are being bypassed for commercial gain at immense cost to the environment and the larger public interest; the corporate sector, and at least sections of the government, perceive the regulatory processes to be a roadblock in the country’s growth trajectory. This paper maps out the process to be followed before projects are granted one such regulatory approval – the environmental clearance under the EIA Notification 2006 – and presents an analysis of some of the problematic aspects in its design and implementation. Several stakeholders with a variety of interests, often conflicting, are involved, and the process is deeply contentious with significant implications for a range of rights. This paper aims to bring some clarity to our understanding of this complex process through a critical examination of the Notification, related documents and judicial pronouncements.

Read more

Case Note: Access to Information as Ruled by the Indian Environmental Tribunal: Save Mon Region Federation v. Union of India

Introduction

On 14 March 2013, the National Green Tribunal of India passed an order in an ongoing statutory appeal against the environmental approval granted to a hydropower project. The order related to the preliminary issue of condoning a delay in the filing of the appeal. The Tribunal attributed a significant part of the delay to the nondisclosure of complete information regarding the approval. The delay in filing was condoned as concerned authorities had not complied with the relevant environmental regulations. Although the order did not address the merits of the case, it is of great significance for the Indian environmental justice system since it grapples with one of the key hurdles in the regime – poor access to information – and thus has the potential to transform the environmental regulatory space by making it more transparent. Environmental decision-making processes, particularly in the developing countries, are often opaque and inaccessible. India’s experience in striving to improve its processes may thus provide useful lessons for other jurisdictions.

Read more

Indian Climate Change Policy: Exploring a Co-Benefits Based Approach

Introduction

There is a growing body of climate-related policy in India; at the same time, there is no clear and consistent approach or framework that directs and guides these efforts. In this paper, we propose and develop a methodology for operationalising a co-benefits approach to climate policy formulation. We use the technique of multi-criteria analysis, which requires making choices between and examining trade-offs across multiple objectives of policy, such as growth, inclusion and environment. In addition, we develop a framework for consideration of implementation issues. We focus on policies related to energy; but we believe the approach can also be modified to address adaptation concerns. The structured tool of the sort proposed here would hopefully contribute to more informed and deliberative decision-making on climate-related issues.

Read more

The Rise of the Regulatory State of the South: Infrastructure and Development in Emerging Economies

Introduction

Understanding the regulatory state of the south, and particularly forms of accommodation to political pressures, could stimulate a broader conversation around the role of the regulatory state in both north and south.This volume seeks to provoke such a discussion by empirically exploring the emergence of regulatory agencies of a range of developing countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The cases focus on telecommunications, electricity, and water: sectors that have often been at the frontlines of this transition. The central question for the volume is: Are there distinctive features of the regulatory state of the South, shaped by the political-economic context of the global south in the last two decades? To assist in exploring this question, the volume includes brief commentaries on the case studies from a range of disciplines: development economics, law and regulation, development sociology, and comparative politics. Collectively, the volume seeks to shape the contours of a productive inter-disciplinary conversation on the emergence of a significant empirical phenomenon – the rise of regulatory agencies in the developing world – with implications both for the study of regulation and the study of development.

Read more

Of Maps and Compasses: India in Multilateral Climate Negotiations

India has taken a remarkably consistent approach to global climate negotiations; a principled position on climate change founded on attention to equity dimensions of the problem. This stance which is the setting on a metaphorical compass that has guided the last two decades of Indian climate policy, has strong implications for India’s arguments for the relative mitigation burdens of the industrialised and developing world and therefore for India’s approach to multilateralism applied to climate change.

About the book ‘Shaping the Emerging World: India and the Multilateral Order’, Brookings Institution Press: The five major emerging national economies known as the BRICS—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—have gained on the world stage. For BRICS watchers, and anyone interested in the future of India’s burgeoning economy, twenty-two scholars have developed one of the most comprehensive volumes to date on India: Shaping the Emerging World.

India faces a defining period. Its status as a global power is not only recognized but increasingly institutionalized, even as geopolitical shifts create both opportunities and challenges. India experienced rapid growth through participation in the existing multilateral order—now its development strategy makes it dependent on this order. With critical interests in almost every major multilateral regime and vital stakes in several emerging ones, India has no choice but to influence the evolving multilateral order if it is to sustain its own interests.

Read more