DMPQ-Discuss India’s climate change policy and also mention the changes brought in it overtime.

. India’s policy on climate change can be broadly divided into two phases – one in which it strictly adhered to ‘Historical Responsibility’  slogan and the other when it diluted it as it became a bigger economy and bigger polluter. India has  become third largest emitter of GHG in absolute terms only behind China, which is at top, and the USA.  Share of India is around 6%, share of China is 20% in global GHG emissions.

India believes that accumulated stocks of GHGs is mainly the result of carbon based industrial activities  of Industrialized countries and hence it endorses the UNFCCC stipulated deep and substantive cuts by  developed countries, as a measure of fulfilling their  due responsibility bestowed upon them by history.

Traditionally, India has been a strong activist in  International climate change negotiations and has in  fact represented the Global South as other bigger  countries like China showed little enthusiasm during  that time. It gave many important ideas and  suggested various norms.

Continuing its original stance, it still maintains that  developing countries cannot be burdened for the sins  of pasts of developed countries and historical  responsibilities must be borne by the developed  countries.

In 1992 Rio Summit, India played a key role in ensuring that west accept certain principles, the  most important being – ‘Common, but differentiated responsibilities’ (CBDR), technology and  resources transfers. These were also included in UNFCCC. Common, but differentiated  responsibility clause  exempted developing  countries from taking any  uncompensated mitigation  actions.

India also supported the cause  of Small Island Developing  States at CoP-1 and agreed to  their proposal of 20%  reduction in emission by Industrialized countries by 2000.  A shift in Indian stance occurred in mid 2000s when Indian PM on sidelines of G8 summit vowed development.

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