In the research project INDGREEN, CICERO will contribute to understanding the relationship between India’s handling of its low-carbon domestic development and its role in international climate negotiations.
“The world depends critically on India’s ambitions and actions for meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs). But there is a lack of knowledge about the country’s ambitions and possibilities to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and how that effects their role in international negotiations," says Solveig Aamodt, Senior Researcher at CICERO and project leader of the project ‘India’s ambitions and possibilities of becoming a global leader (INDGREEN)’.
India is today responsible for about seven per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and is the fourth largest emitter after China, the US and the EU.
Will study national drivers in India’s climate policy
Following the Paris Agreement from 2015, Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) with domestic polices and targets have become crucial for understanding progress in international climate governance.
“The blurring barriers between international and domestic climate policy-making has opened up for participation and influence of sub-national actors and civil society in a new way. We will study how these actors influence India’s position and role in global climate politics,“ says Aamodt.
Recent policy debates in India demonstrate difficult trade-offs between low carbon transition and social objectives.
“We see that e.g. development of renewable energy can get in conflict with food security, indigenous peoples’ rights and the right to land. Synergies between different SDGs are often mentioned, but there are also conflicts. We will study these challenges more closely,” explains Aamodt.
Strengthening cooperation with Indian researchers
Key to the project is a close collaboration between CICERO and Indian researchers from TERI School of Advanced Studies (TERI SAS).
«We will study India’s climate ambitions both from the inside and the outside, and through the scientific collaboration we want to add new perspectives and insights to the research on international climate governance”, says Aamodt.
TERI SAS has done a lot of research on domestic Indian climate politics and policies. CICERO’s Climate Policy research group was evaluated by the Research Council of Norway in 2018 and rewarded the highest possible score noting the group’s research on international climate politics as ‘world leading’.
Both research institutes have focus on gender perspectives and socio-economic and cultural marginalisation, which is seldom considered in studies of climate politics. Including such perspectives is important in order to ensure a democratic process and social acceptance of a low-carbon transition.
In addition to Aamodt, who’s research focuses on climate politics in developing countries, including India and Brazil, as well as the relations between national and international climate governance, Karina Standal, Senior Researcher at CICERO will also have a key role in the project. Her research experience is among others on implementation of renewable energy systems and gender relations in rural India.
INDGREEN is running from 2020 until 2025 and is funded by the Research Council of Norway.