Book Review: An India that can say yes: a climate-responsible development agenda

Review of Praful's recent book on Indian climate policy

27 May 2010
Nagraj Adve

This review of Praful Bidwai's An India that can say yes: a climate responsible agenda for Copenhagen and beyond, considers his critique of Indian climate policy and recommendations for more ambitious action from India to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, while defending North-South equity.

Download the full review as a .pdf

"Global warming underlines myriad interlinked issues, which play out at different levels. It is a product of the logic of industrial capitalism. It will worsen with the ongoing neoliberal development trajectories that rely hugely on the market.

"It has enriched debates around equity and exposed the limits of nation state frameworks in dealing with global ecological crises that have systemic roots. Given the absence of equity and justice therein, it has exposed the poverty of both the development trajectory and climate policy of major governments. It has already had severe impacts on ecosystems and people in India (and beyond). Feedbacks at merely 0.8 degrees Celcius of average warming do not just exacerbate already existing crises faced by the poor but also highlight the dangers and possibility of runaway, levels of warming, and therein lies its urgency.

"The book under review deals for a good part with the hollowness of India's climate policy, offers rich insights into notions of equity, comments on alternative climate proposals that have been discussed internationally, suggests low-carbon development strategies specifically in the Indian context, and much else. No secondary book on climate change and India can, henceforth, be written satisfactorily without reference to this one."

Recent publications from Environmental Justice

Anglo American’s dirty energy lobby and its false climate solutions

Climate talks in Lima will be subject to intense lobbying by some of the biggest industrial polluters. They not only cause serious social and environmental conflicts where they extract fossil fuels, their capture of decision-making also prevents a real solution to the climate crisis.

Corporate Conquistadors

An examination of the destructive environmental record of Repsol, Glencore Xstrata and Enel-Endesa in Latin America and worldwide is clear evidence that transnational corporations should have no place in decision-making around the climate.

Venezuela: terminal crisis of the rentier petro-state?

Venezuela's failure to develop an effective strategy to reduce its economy's dependence on gas and oil threatens the social successes and future viability of the Bolivarian project.

The Emerging Economies and Climate Change

The BASIC bloc of countries in UN negotiations have too often ended up collaborating and colluding with the inaction of industrialised countries, undermining the future of the poor in their own countries and throughout the South.