COP21 is a reality check for those who like to believe that geopolitical power is shifting from West to East. The just-concluded Paris Climate Summit was essentially about the early-to-develop Western powers continuing to exercise almost complete control over global governance structures, largely through the dominance of markets.
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If COP 21 Summit in Paris is to play a decisive role in warding off climate havoc, it must strengthen efforts to resolve the greatest market failure in history. Efforts to reconfigure market culture are part of a larger civilizational process of treating profit as the means not the goal of business.
This year, India's defence diplomacy has ramped up. In 2015 alone there have been 18 military exercises- naval, army and air force- with 13 countries, among the largest engagements the country has had. Most significant is Japan joining the Malabar exercises in the Bay of Bengal and the first-ever maritime exercise with Australia. This is increasing India's presence from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal. As these exercises intensify India will be better positioned to handle regional security challenges.
German Chancellor Merkel’s recent visit to India with a high-powered entourage showed the weight attached to this bilateral relationship. German companies want to gain more access to the Indian market and be part of Prime Minister Modi’s high-tech initiatives—and it is up to India to surmount political hurdles and tap into this potential.
The sanctions against Iran impacted the country’s oil, banking, aviation, and other sectors, and had a major humanitarian impact. But neither is armed attack a more suitable method in most instances to address allegedly recalcitrant states. What then is the middle ground? And can the UNSC assume a more proactive role in this context?
It has been ten months since India and Germany signed an agreement to partner in developing three smart cities. The government now seriously needs to move beyond slogans and aspirations and start addressing the more pressing issues specific to smart city development. Then only will the Modi-Merkel diplomacy be viewed as a success at home.
While the closing of borders to refugees in Europe and West Asia could be interpreted as proof that national borders are more important now than ever, the sheer numbers of refugees make strengthening borders a severely inadequate solution.
If the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership moves ahead after further negotiations were held in July, Indian exporters could be disadvantaged. Instead, India must be ready to use the further opening up of huge markets across the Atlantic, and adopt trade policies that mix regionalism and multilateralism.
In Germany in June 2015, G7 countries made major commitments towards decarbonisation and reduction in greenhouse gases, which will lead to binding decisions at the COP-21 conference in Paris in December. Germany pushed for these outcomes, and as one of the most energy efficient countries in the world its technology and expertise can help India’s targets of alternative energy and sustainable industry.
While all eyes are currently on Greece, the UK has plans to hold a referendum on whether to exit the European Union or a "Brexit". The potential of a "Brexit" has both short and long term implications on the UK's position as a financial hub and on Indian FDI into the UK