Dr William J. Antholis, Brookings Institution, led a round table discussion on "What to Expect at the United Nations Climate Summit and Beyond" at CEEW office on 9 September 2014.
In his note shared before the round table, Dr Antholis highlighted, "Since the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, India has been the strongest voice for "common but differentiated" responsibilities. Still, India increasingly sees the local impacts of climate change and growing coal use. Rising sea levels have put hundreds of millions of Indians at risk in low-lying population centers in the Kolkata and Chennai metropolitan regions. How will the new government proceed on climate change?
When Mr Modi was Chief Minister of Gujarat, he went out of his way to get educated on climate change and to take early steps to try to do something about it. Now as Prime Minister, Mr Modi has already taken two dramatically important steps: he has streamlined energy decision-making, and also environmental decision-making. Internationally, the challenge for Mr Modi will be the upcoming UN Special Summit on Climate Change - and India's negotiating stance in the next Paris meeting of the UN climate negotiation in 2015."
Dr William J. Antholis is the Managing Director of Brookings Institution and a senior fellow in Governance Studies. His academic background is in how democracies conduct foreign policy, and he has served in the U.S. government at the White House and the State Department. He is the co-author with Strobe Talbott, of Fast Forward: Ethics and Politics in the Age of Global Warming, and author of Inside Out India and China: Local Politics Go Global.