, Volume 44, Issue 6, pp 592–599 | Cite as

Mapping ‘consistency’ in India’s climate change position: Dynamics and dilemmas of science diplomacy

  • Himangana GuptaEmail author
  • Ravinder Kumar Kohli
  • Amrik Singh Ahluwalia


India’s position on climate change negotiations is likely to have far reaching implications for the success of global climate cooperation. Since the beginning of negotiations, the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) remained the centerpiece of India’s stand. The stand started to evolve at the 15th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at Copenhagen in 2009, when India accepted voluntary commitments to reduce emission intensity. Though India still swears by CBDR, status of the principle in the negotiations has become doubtful after the Durban Climate Conference in 2011 committed all parties to take emission targets. This paper traces major transition points in India’s negotiating position over the years and provides a descriptive context of its climate-related concerns. It analyzes the interview responses of 15 top scientists, experts, and negotiators to build upon core areas of climate change issues in India, its future role, and position in negotiations. Interviewees, in general, were in favor of protecting the carbon space for the poor who had very low emissions.


Global climate negotiations Science diplomacy India Commitments Policy 



The authors thank Raj Kumar Gupta, Sanjay Chaturvedi, and Pushpinder Syal for diligently going through the manuscript and suggesting appropriate changes. Interviewees deserve our special gratitude for sparing their time for comments, suggestions, and outlook. The authors are indebted to the University Grants Commission, New Delhi, for funding this research.


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Himangana Gupta
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ravinder Kumar Kohli
    • 2
  • Amrik Singh Ahluwalia
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Environment StudiesPanjab UniversityChandigarhIndia
  2. 2.Central University of PunjabBathindaIndia
  3. 3.Panjab UniversityChandigarhIndia

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