Archive for December, 2015

Policy Alert: We Have a Climate Deal: India and China React to the Paris Agreement

parisOn December 12, leaders from more than 190 countries reached a consensus on how to combat climate change after two weeks of intense negotiations and years of diplomatic wrangling. The Paris Agreement will succeed the expiring Kyoto protocol and seeks to keep the average global temperature from rising above two degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels through reductions in greenhouse emissions, changes in energy policies, shifts in agriculture and livestock production, and other far reaching measures. Countries outlined their plans to reach these targets and pledged to share funding and technology to poorer states needing to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change. This Policy Alert is a companion to Policy Alert #114 and illustrates the reactions on the final deal within India and China, two rising powers central to the negotiations and future success or failure of the accord.

INDIA

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the outcome in Paris where “every nation rose to the challenge, working towards a solution” that “has no winners or losers” save for the preservation of “climate justice” and “a greener future.” While many analysts worried India could play a “spoiler” in the negotiations due to its developing economy’s reliance on coal, New Delhi ultimately agreed to the final deal. (more…)

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RPI Scholar Deepa Ollapally: India’s National Identity and Its Impact on Security Policy under Modi

modi-fopoEarlier this month, Dr. Deepa Ollapally, director of the Rising Powers Initiative and research professor of international affairs at the Elliott School of International Relations, published an article at The Asan Forum that explored how the election of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2014 shaped expectations of the future direction of India’s foreign policy and the eventual path the Modi government has taken since rising to power:

The consensus on India’s national identity has been slowly fragmenting over the last twenty-five years, especially since the emergence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in 1998 displacing the Congress Party, India’s dominant political party since independence. After being out of power for a decade, the BJP came back to power with a decisive showing in May 2014 under Narendra Modi. There were varying expectations regarding how the new government would project its worldview onto the international stage, but a prior question for many was what exactly was the new prime minister’s own worldview, left unclear given that he had spent his career in state-level politics.

The best indication came from the self-avowed nationalist image of the BJP. Based on this, it was assumed that under Modi, New Delhi could be expected to focus on building up the country’s hard power, i.e., military capabilities, and fashioning a more assertive defense and security policy. In other words, India’s “great power” ambition would be underwritten by bigger military prowess and stronger security policies. (more…)

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Policy Alert: COP21: Rising Powers Seek Solutions for Climate Change

cop21COP21, a UN climate change conference, opened last week in Paris, a city that experienced horrific terrorist attacks just weeks before. In his opening address, French President Francois Hollande noted “I can’t separate the fight with terrorism from the fight against global warming. These are two big global challenges we have to face up to.” World leaders from about 150 countries are expected to reach a new greenhouse gas reduction framework to replace the Kyoto Protocol expiring in 2020. In this Policy Alert, we examine commentary from China, India, Russia, Japan, South Korea, and Brazil on the climate change meeting.

CHINA

China and the United States – the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases – laid the ground work for the Paris talks with joint commitments this past year to address climate change. President Xi Jinping was the first Chinese head of state to attend a climate summit when he outlined his country’s plans to see a peak in carbon emissions by 2030 and for its emissions intensity of GDP to decline by 60 to 65 percent. Likewise, China has promised increases in energy efficiency and a shift toward to natural gas, hydropower, wind, and solar energy. (more…)

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