Impact of Climate Change on Indian Economy

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IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE POLICIES

ON

THE GROWTH OF THE INDIAN ECONOMY

Submitted by: Kriti BhardwajDate: 1st December, 2010

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ABSTRACT

The most contentious global debate today is the obligations of the developed and the developing countries to take steps to reduce their carbon footprint. Though climate change is a danger for all countries-developed and developing alike, the quantum of responsibility for mitigating climate change is a debatable issue. There is a perceived divide between the obligations of the two worlds in which our planet is divided.

The source of virtually all past emissions i.e. the developed world has a greater responsibility to take steps to reduce their carbon emissions substantially and help in stabilizing the environment which they disturbed to a large extent. This is the reason why they are subjected to binding targets of reducing their emissions by a set amount in all international agreements.

However, the developing world is gearing towards development at a very fast pace and all development and industrialization pre-supposes the need of higher emissions. Due to this, the emission levels of this part of the world are bound to increase even more rapidly.

Mitigating climate change in developing countries poses a fundamental challenge. For developing nations as a whole, reduction in emissions is not a viable option specifically in the short term. With per capita incomes far below those of developed countries—and per capita emissions almost one-sixth those of the industrialized world—developing countries will carry on stepping up their emissions as they strive to achieve high levels of economic growth and a better quality of life for its citizens.

This paper dwells into the issue of climate change and the impact it has on the economy of a country like India. It covers what India, being a developing nation, is doing and how that is affecting the growth of key sectors like power and ultimately the nation’s economic growth.

The economic costs involved in the measures taken up for reducing carbon emissions outweigh the economic benefits that India would get from rapid industrialization. Thus, there is a moral dilemma that India faces to sacrifice one for the other. It can incur heavy costs to mitigate climate change and delay its development or not care about climate change and focus on its development.

This paper analyzes this dilemma and also the rationale behind taking up carbon reduction measures when there are other more fundamental issues to be dealt with in the Indian economy.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

I.Introduction…………………………………………………page 4

II.Climate Change and its Impacts…………………………...page 5

III. Major policies in India to mitigate climate change………..page 6-7

IV.Effect on Development………………………………………page 8-11

V.Conclusion…………………………………………………..page 12

VI. References……………………………………………………page 13

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INTRODUCTION

Developing countries’ green house gas emissions will most probably exceed those of the developed world within the first half of this century, foregrounding the need for developing countries’ concerted efforts to reduce the adverse impact of climate change. Even though developing nations have not been keen to accept binding emissions targets, asking that developed nations take action first, most of them are undertaking efforts that have reduced the growth in their own emissions significantly. In most cases, climate mitigation is not the goal, but rather an outgrowth of efforts driven by economic, security, or local environmental concerns.

The...
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