ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Climate Change after the G-20 Summit

Global climate policy should now move away from its sole focus on reduction of emissions of carbon dioxide, which is a symptom of the problem, to discussing its causes and strategies. This article argues that, with the largest emitter opting out, the key issue is the broader response from the late developers, in particular India, reframing both the design and implementation of the climate regime.

Four developments have shaken the belief that after 20 years of annual negotiations, the Paris Agreement would put the earth on a path to sustainability. There is now a need for a rethink of India’s approach, which should include setting the global agenda for just outcomes.

First, the final communiqué from the recently concluded G-20 summit in Hamburg confirmed “the decision of the United States (US) to withdraw from the Paris agreement.” After late night negotiations, the US did successfully manage to insert text referencing fossil fuels which reads: “The US states it will endeavor to work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently,” opening the door for exports of coal. The US President Donald Trump had earlier in June announced the withdrawal and began weakening or slowing down domestic policies, despite being the largest emitter of carbon dioxide in per capita terms and effectively shifting the burden of reduction onto others.

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