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2021 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

3. India, Africa and Global Climate Diplomacy

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Abstract

This chapter draws the reader’s attention to the common minimum position adopted by India and African states, and the areas of divergence, on the critical issue of climate change. The ‘climate emergency’ affects India and Africa significantly through droughts, floods and unpredictable weather events, and has taken a toll on agricultural productivity. This could aggravate further, depressing the living standards of largely agricultural economies. This chapter looks at how India and Africa engage in the geopolitics of multilateral climate diplomacy, and the negotiating blocks with which they align for furthering their climate agendas. India and African states are part of the G-77/China negotiating block which includes all nations of the Global South, and India along with South Africa, is a member of BRICS, which has emerged influential in multilateral platforms. There are some convergences, in their positions; such as adherence to the Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR), and calls for transfer of finances from the industrialized nations to the developing world, to finance initiatives for adaptation and mitigation to combat climate change. There are also divergences: African states continue to complain that adaptation funds achieve greater impact in countries with more developed markets, such as India. They also point out some of the largest emitters—India and China; have not taken adequate action to curb their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Further, this chapter also details the Indian capacity building initiatives in Africa for clean energy through the International Solar Alliance, Lines of Credit and aid to combat climate change.
Footnotes
1
From the Greek words, anthropos = human; cene = the standard suffix for epoch in geologic time.
 
2
For instance, some projections indicate that by 2050, over 570 low-lying coastal cities will face sea level rises by at least 0.5 metres, which will put 800 million people at risk from storm surges and loss of property. The global economic costs to cities could amount to US$ 1 trillion by 2050 (C40, n.d.).
 
3
The result of negotiations at COP21, the Paris Agreement’s long-term goal is to keep the increase in global average temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C, which would substantially reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.
 
4
The Group of 77 (G-77) was established in 1964 by seventy-seven developing countries with the aim of promoting their collective economic interests and improving their negotiating capacity within the United Nations System. It has 135 current members as of 2019. China is an affiliate, so the group is often called the G-77/ China bloc (G-77, n.d.).
 
5
The Common African Position is constantly being redefined in Africa, as intra-continental politics often come into play. South Africa’s membership of the BRICS and BASIC groupings have historically created tensions among AU member states, who have been uncomfortable with the South African alignment with other ‘emerging economies’, and its attempts to portray itself as a leader in Africa (Hochstetler 2012).
 
6
Parties of Annex I consist of the industrialized nations which were part of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1992, as well as the Economies in Transition (EITs), such as the Russian Federation and Baltic States. Annex II parties consist of OECD countries, obliged to provide developing nations with climate finances. Parties listed in Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol are Parties with first or second-round Kyoto greenhouse gas emissions targets. Non-Annex B parties do not have binding targets (UNFCCCa, n.d.).
 
7
The Bali Action Plan charted a long-term plan of cooperation to combat climate change until 2012.
 
8
The Great Green Wall aims to combat desertification in the Sahara and the Sahel region. It was launched in 2007 by the African Union; a ‘Green Wall’ of trees are being planted in a stretch of about 8000 kilometres across the width of the Sahara (UNCCD, n.d.).
 
9
At IASF-II In 2011, India declared support for Africa’s Great Green Wall Project, which is the continent’s flagship initiative to combat the effects of climatic change and desertification (IAFS-II 2011a, b).
 
10
The USA is the world’s second-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, with China at the first spot, and is also the largest cumulative GHG emitter in history. In 2015, during his presidential campaign, Donald Trump announced that he would pull the USA out of the Paris Agreement, citing that it was at odds with his ‘America First Policy’ and was detrimental to businesses and the economy. The formal withdrawal notice was meant to be served three years after the adoption of the Agreement in any country, which was November 2016 in the USA. The Trump administration officially announced their intention to withdraw in November 2019, a process which would take a year to complete. With the USA outside the Paris Agreement, the pact will now cover only about 80% of GHG emissions, down from 97% previously (Johnson 2019).
 
11
Under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, countries with low emissions would be allowed to sell their exceeding allowance to larger emitters, with an overall cap of GHG emissions, ensuring their net reduction. Supply and demand for emissions allowances would lead to the establishment of a global carbon price that would link the negative externalities of GHG emissions to polluters. In other words, by paying a price on carbon, states exceeding their NDCs would bear the costs of global warming (ICC, n.d.).
 
Literature
go back to reference Hochstetler, K. (2012). Climate rights and obligations for emerging states: The cases of Brazil and South Africa. Social Research, 79(4, Human Rights and the Global Economy [Winter]), 957–982. Hochstetler, K. (2012). Climate rights and obligations for emerging states: The cases of Brazil and South Africa. Social Research, 79(4, Human Rights and the Global Economy [Winter]), 957–982.
go back to reference Hurrell, A., & Sengupta, S. (2012). Emerging powers, North-South relations and global climate politics, International Affairs. Royal Institute of International Affairs, 88(3, Rio 20 and The Global Environment: Reflections on Theory and Practice), 463–484. Hurrell, A., & Sengupta, S. (2012). Emerging powers, North-South relations and global climate politics, International Affairs. Royal Institute of International Affairs, 88(3, Rio 20 and The Global Environment: Reflections on Theory and Practice), 463–484.
go back to reference Vickers, B. (2013). Africa and the rising powers: Bargaining for the marginalized many. International Affairs, 89(3), 673–693. CrossRef Vickers, B. (2013). Africa and the rising powers: Bargaining for the marginalized many. International Affairs, 89(3), 673–693. CrossRef
Metadata
Title
India, Africa and Global Climate Diplomacy
Authors
Renu Modi
Meera Venkatachalam
Copyright Year
2021
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-54112-5_3

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