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
In the media

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.

"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."