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October 30, 2023 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 pm


India’s role in global climate negotiations and its domestic policies are increasingly scrutinized in the context of environmental justice. The recent G-20 summit in Delhi has pledged ambitious goals for renewable energy but lacked consensus on phasing out fossil fuels, a primary cause of the climate crisis. Climate justice necessitates a focus on compensating the affected and ensuring polluters pay, yet India’s stance is primarily framed by international policies, overshadowing internal climate justice concerns.

Inequality and Climate Impact

Impact on Marginalized Communities

Climate-Induced Challenges: The adverse effects of climate change exacerbate the challenges faced by marginalized communities, compounding agrarian crises and income losses.

Agrarian Sector and Fisher Communities: Variations in weather directly affect agricultural productivity and fish stocks, heavily impacting farming and fishing communities.

Societal Inequalities and Emissions

Environmental and Socio-economic Inequalities: Societies with higher inequalities tend to produce more emissions per unit of economic activity. India’s economic structure contributes to increased emissions.


What is the status of India’s energy consumption?

Source-wise Distribution:

Coal Dominance: As of 2021, coal is the most significant contributor to India’s energy supply, constituting 56.1% of the total supply.

Crude Oil Contribution: Following coal, crude oil holds a significant share, accounting for 33.4% of India’s energy supply.

Sector-wise Allocation:

Industrial Sector: India’s industrial sector is the largest consumer of energy, utilizing more than half of the total final energy consumption, at 51%.

Transport Sector: The transport sector follows, consuming about 11% of the total energy.

Residential Sector: Energy consumption in the residential sector accounts for approximately 10%.

Agriculture Sector: The agriculture sector is the least energy-intensive, consuming 3.6% of the total energy supply.

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and Goals:

Renewable Energy: India’s NDC aims to ensure that 40% of the total installed power generation capacity comes from clean energy sources.

Net-Zero Emissions Pledge: India has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by the year 2070. This involves balancing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted with an equivalent offset, either by removing or offsetting those gases from the atmosphere.

Concerns with Energy Transition

Vulnerable Sectors: A shift to renewables might adversely affect sectors heavily reliant on coal, potentially impacting manufacturing, an already critical sector in India’s economy.

Regional Divide: Energy source differences correlate with regional economic disparities, notably affecting coal-dependent regions.

Greening Development and Federalism

Balancing Transition and Inequality

Employment Impacts: Transitioning to renewables requires attention to employment shifts and protecting vulnerable groups, especially those employed in fossil fuel industries.

Regional Inequalities: Regional reliance on coal, as a cheaper energy source, poses revenue and livelihood challenges in these areas, necessitating government support.

Role of Federalism

Federal Structure Challenges: State governments play a significant role in addressing climate concerns. However, they might have differing priorities, necessitating a careful balance between Union and State objectives.

Fiscal Federalism and Cooperation: Examining interactions between fiscal federalism and climate mitigation is essential for aligning policies across different governance levels.


India’s ambition to address climate concerns at the global level needs alignment with internal policies that consider inequality, regional disparities, and the economic implications of an energy transition. Addressing these issues requires comprehensive policy strategies, balancing environmental sustainability, employment impacts, and regional inequalities to ensure a just and equitable transition while mitigating climate impacts on vulnerable communities.


October 30, 2023
7:30 am - 11:30 pm
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