Climate change and its likely impacts pose an extremely serious challenge to an aspirational India. At the same time, the pathway to productive engagement with the climate change debate is not obvious—India has an excess of urgent and large development challenges and severe constraints on the necessary attention, capability, and resources to address them all. This book aims to bring together the many, and growing, voices that seek to find the language and ideas with which to engage climate change, and to do so from a perspective that resonates with broader Indian development policy discourses. It is intended as an invitation to conversation.
The chapters in this volume are testament to the growing depth and richness of the climate change discussion in India. An earlier edited volume, Handbook on Climate Change and India, provided a useful stocktake of the state of the debate in 2012. This volume aims to be similarly comprehensive, but has the benefit of drawing on a much larger and richer base of source material and literature; important new developments on the international stage, such as the Paris Agreement; and voices from a wider range of actors, such as labour unions. In particular, there has been considerably more thinking about how to bring together climate change and development concerns, which is reflected in this volume. It is my hope that the book will provide a useful entry point for academics, students, policymakers, media, business, and civil society seeking to grapple with the complexity of India’s climate change conversation.
My deepest thanks go to the contributing authors. They willingly gave their time for an authors’ workshop and put up with repeated badgering and demands for shorter, yet more comprehensive and in-depth, treatment of their topics. These authors, (p.xviii) who also represent the most creative edge of India’s climate debate, make this book.
My colleagues at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, India, provided intellectual stimulation and contributed to the often-thankless work that goes into producing a large edited volume. Lavanya Rajamani, Radhika Khosla, and Shibani Ghosh shared ideas, reviewed key chapters, and were willing and perceptive sounding boards. Ankit Bhardwaj stepped in willingly to help shepherd critical chapters and, along with Aditya Pillai, helped edit several chapters. Madhura Joshi managed the early part of the book production and organized the authors’ workshop. Mandakini Chandra managed communications and outreach and helped in production. Most importantly, this book would not have seen the light of day without Parth Bhatia, who provided research assistance, a close editing eye, and managed the production process. I am deeply grateful to all my colleagues.
The MacArthur Foundation, which stands out for its willingness to support projects that deepen and inform debate, provided funding support for the preparation of these chapters, an author workshop, and the resources with which to make this volume freely accessible. We deeply appreciate this support. The views expressed in this book are those of the contributors and do not reflect the viewpoints of the MacArthur Foundation.
I am grateful to the editors at Oxford University Press, who ably shepherded this book to production.
Finally, the blanket ban by my children on discussion of climate change at the dinner table and my wife’s only feeble entreaties to be more supportive of their father forced me to be ever-more creative about ways of raising the issue. For being my toughest but ultimately most-accepting audience, I thank Rinku, Ela, and Rustom.
NAVROZ K. DUBASH