India's Role in an International Legal Solution to the Global Climate Change Problem

44 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2011 Last revised: 22 Mar 2014

Date Written: April 4, 2011


Climate change is perhaps one of the modern world’s greatest problems. Solving this problem is one of the greatest global challenges because all, or very nearly all, countries are impacted by it, and thus every country must participate in a regime to cut back emissions in order to solve the problem. India, a developing country, is a key player in international climate change negotiations.

Any country’s ability to implement environmental policy on climate change at the national level is critical to its ability to participate in negotiating climate change law and policy at the international level. India, like other developing countries, seeks to protect its environment and public health while still fostering economic development and growth. India has enacted a significant number of environmental laws, regulations, and policies to further these goals. However, India faces many domestic obstacles in terms of implementing greener policies to fight climate change.

Part I of this paper explains international climate change law. Part II explains India’s obligations and commitments under these treaties. Part III describes and analyzes India’s perspective on environmental law and climate change by first looking at the history of India and fieldwork in India. Part III.C. addresses hurdles to mitigation and compliance that India faces, which include overpopulation, poverty and hunger, and political corruption and poor infrastructure. Part III.D. looks at India’s environmental laws and environmental litigation in India. Part IV.A. analyzes different models that have been proposed for long-term carbon emissions reduction, and Part IV.B. proposes a holistic approach that India can use to address climate change.

India should make efforts to control its population, improve its infrastructure, and alleviate poverty, hunger, and political corruption, while building a grassroots movement involving bottom-up advocacy and education. India must also utilize and better implement its fairly strong environmental laws and other key tools such as public interest litigation. Thus, in order for India to play a leadership role in solving the climate change problem, India needs to make internal improvements so that it can be a world leader.

Suggested Citation

Chitre, Sonali P., India's Role in an International Legal Solution to the Global Climate Change Problem (April 4, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Sonali P. Chitre (Contact Author)

Global Mana Foundation ( email )

1 Northside Piers
Brooklyn, NY 11249
United States
2024602229 (Phone)


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