The Politics of Climate change and the Global crisis

12 January 2012

In his book Bidwai addresses the impacts of climate change and the politics of the international climate negotiations; and second, lndia as an example of an 'emerging economy' major polluter, which can potentially both aid or obstruct the fight against climate change.

Irreversible, catastrophic climate change represents the greatest threat to human kind's survival today. Relentlessly rising greenhouse gas emissions are heating up the atmosphere. Planet Earth is hurtling towards disaster, with rapidly melting ice-caps and glaciers, rising sea levels, rainfall pattern changes, and a breakdown of fragile climate balances.

The earth can cope with maximum global warming of 1.5-2 degree C. But temperatures are set to rise way beyond this-unless greenhouse emissions are drastically reduced by 2020.Yet1 the world has failed to reach agreement on this. Industrialised countries, which are primarily responsible for climate change, balk at cutting their emissions. They continue to occupy climate space at the expense of the developing countries' climate-vulnerable poor people. Equally unfairly, their emissions-reduction pledges are lower than the poor countries’.

The climate crisis thus aggravates the global developmental crisis. It is also intimately linked through the prevalent iniquitous development model to grave economic, social and political crises in evidence globally.

This unique book has a dual focus: impacts of climate change, and the politics of the international climate negotiations; and second, lndia as an example of an 'emerging economy' major polluter, which can potentially both aid or obstruct the fight against climate change. It analyses the role of the new BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India, China) grouping and the short-term calculations of other major players in the climate talks.

Yet, there are alternatives to this dismal situation, based on equity, resource conservation, curbs on luxury consumption, promotion of renewable energy and new patterns of production and consumption which sustain low-carbon development. What the global effort lacks is candid acknowledgement of the need for a qualitative change in the growth model and the will to bring it about through democratic popular participation.

Written lucidly, this volume is mandatory reading for social scientists, environmentalists, civil servants, social activists and environmentally conscious citizens.

Purchase The Politics of Climate Change and the Global Crisis, by Praful Bidwai by sending an e-mail to books@tni.org. Pricing: 10 Euro + shipping costs.

January 2012
In: The politics of climate change and the global crisis
392 pages
ISBN/ISSN: 978-81-250-4503-8

About the authors

Praful Bidwai

Praful Bidwai is a political columnist, social science researcher, and activist on issues of human rights, the environment, global justice and peace. He currently holds the Durgabai Deshmukh Chair in Social Development, Equity and Human Security at the Council for Social Development, Delhi, affiliated to the Indian Council for Social Science Research. 

A former Senior Editor of The Times of India, Bidwai is one of South Asia’s most widely published columnists, whose articles appear in more than 25 newspapers and magazines. He is also frequently published by The Guardian, Le Monde Diplomatique and Il Manifesto.

Bidwai is a founder-member of the Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace (India). He received the Sean MacBride International Peace Prize, 2000 of the International Peace Bureau, Geneva & London. 

He was a Senior Fellow, Centre for Contemporary Studies, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi. Bidwai is the co-author, with Achin Vanaik, of South Asia on a Short Fuse: Nuclear Politics and the Future of Global Disarmament, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 1999, a radical critique of the nuclearisation of India and Pakistan and of reliance on nuclear weapons for security.  

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