Climate Change: Reflections on Issues, Challenges and the Way Forward

The Climate Change Expert Group was established at the Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF) in 2022. It comprises of experts from a wide range of fields, including climate and weather systems, the environment, energy, diplomacy and national security. The expert group’s mandate was to explore ways in which climate change has manifested in India and how it has affected the country’s well- being, national security, foreign policy, contemporary geopolitics and geo-economics. It also aims to provide policy-relevant recommendations in areas pertaining to climate mitigation and adaptation. The Climate Change Expert Group at VIF has organised six meetings to date. The first meeting was held on 8 September 2022, the second on 22 November 2022, the third on 16 January 2023, the fourth on 18 May 2023, the fifth on 7 August 2023 and the sixth on 16 October 2023 respectively.

This report summarises the key outcomes of the six Climate Change Expert Group meetings that the VIF has organised to date. Policy-relevant recommendations are grouped under two broad categories - mitigation and adaptation. The first category deals with issues relevant to India’s climate mitigation efforts and its climate diplomacy. It includes Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capability (CBDR-RC), per capita emissions and historical cumulative CO2 emissions, carbon budget, agriculture, coal, lifestyle change, carbon market mechanism, regional trade in clean energy, nuclear power and communication/messaging. The second category deals with issues relevant to India’s adaptation efforts. It includes payment for loss and damage, climate resilient infrastructure, a comprehensive flood management plan, monitoring and evaluation of adaptation interventions, multi-disciplinary climate change research institutions, climate models, climate projections, Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES), climate finance, etc.

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