October 01, 2019

Paris Agreement and India: Dalliance or Serious Alliance?

Anupam Jha

From Stockholm in 1972 to Paris in 2015, India’s journey to protection of the environment has not been a smooth ride. At the1972 Stockholm Conference (First Earth Summit), Indira Gandhi, then-Prime Minister of India, made a historic statement questioning the prevailing discourse on environmental protection: “Are not poverty and need the greatest polluters?” Jairam Ramesh, Indira Gandhi: A Life in Nature 134 (2017). She highlighted the fundamental tension between the needs of developed and the developing countries. For the developed countries, protection of human environment needed top priority, whereas for the developing countries, poverty reduction deserved top priority. One of the greatest challenges after India’s independence from British rule has been unabated levels of poverty. Fast-forward 70 years after India’s independence, and 20 percent of India’s population remains in poverty. The World Bank, India’s Poverty Profile (2016), http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/infographic/2016/05/27/india-s-poverty-profile.

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