India - National Policies and Global Commitments

Renewable Energy, Equitable Growth, and Gender Equality
Heinrich Böll Foundation
For free
Place of publication
Date of Publication
April 2017
Number of Pages
Language of publication

The Indian government's submission to the G20 claims, in a wholesale manner, that its policies are «in sync with the SDG 2030 Agenda». Given India's diversity and size, virtually all SDGs are highly relevant – on the country level and also in their global impact. This paper picks three areas which are of special relevance from a green political perspective: energy and climate policy; sustainable and inclusive economic growth; and gender equality.

In climate policy, India undertakes great strides to increase energy supply by promoting renewables. It does so on a scale that until recently few people would have expected, and which even some among Indian climate policy negotiators would have regarded as inap-propriate (from a «climate justice» perspective) for a relatively poor country such as India. Thus, India is playing a progressive role in international climate action, even though the country is still going to increase coal use and emissions for several decades.

India's economic growth currently appears to be most robust among the major emerging economies. This is likely to continue for some years (unless the world undergoes rapid «deglobalization», that is) and there is considerable optimism in the country. But there must be serious questions as to how far this expansion can and will go in a society characterized by severe deficits in education, health and other infrastructures; and the management of the ecological impacts of economic growth remains a particularly massive challenge in a country with 18 percent of the world population, but only 11 percent of the world's arable land (much of it used less efficiently than elsewhere in the world).

Ambivalent and contradictory messages also come out with regard to gender equality: As India's educated young women have a good chance for professional progress, patriarchal mindsets continue to dominate large segments of the society.


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