The recently concluded BIMSTEC summit is now a regional intergovernmental organization with a formal charter, giving it a clear mission and legality and a destiny linked to South and South East Asia. It is now better equipped to accelerate economic development for the fifth of the world’s population, which contributes only 4% of global GDP.
The highly space-capable Quad powers have agreed to share their respective satellite datasets for monitoring climate change, disasters and the use of natural resources. With global security encompassing armed confrontation to environmental damage, the Quad’s planetary collaboration will go a long way in protecting the green and blue environment.
On September 24, the Quad leaders will attend the first in-person summit of the grouping in Washington DC. There is much to discuss for the four leaders, given recent developments: the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, the Australia-UK-US (AUKUS) security partnership and the EU's new Indo-Pacific strategy. The Quad also needs to focus on long term goals like institutionalising itself and devising a strategy to counter the China challenge.
India has had big successes during its first stint as an observer in the Arctic Council. Since then, the country has made substantial progress in its climate action pledges and developed comprehensive strategies to mitigate climate change. With its re-election, India can now offer much more to the global organisation's role in promoting environmental stability in the polar region.
A yawning gap has opened up between what countries know about the risks of climate change and what they are doing to reduce them. In the riskier new era of climate change, the longer countries take to close that gap, the more painful and deadly the outcomes.
India’s pledge to the Paris Agreement gives it the flexibility to confidently place its climate action policies across various multilaterals. Although an observer of the Arctic Council, India can collaborate with the body's upcoming chair, Russia, to alleviate climate change concerns stemming from the Arctic. It is time for India to use its goodwill with the Arctic Council members to develop a national Arctic policy.
As part of our weekly series of podcasts in the run-up to the U.S. elections, in this episode on the last 2020 presidential debate, Ambassador Neelam Deo, Director and Co-founder of Gateway House, on U.S’ national security, opposite views of Trump and Biden on the Paris accord and climate change and if South Block needs to pay attention to President Trump’s statement on our air quality.
In this webcast, we discuss the transport energy options for India. The government of India intends to pursue Electric Vehicles with aggression, both to help India meet its Climate Change commitments, as also to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels in the post corona era. But is it what India needs? Are the necessary raw materials for batteries accessible in both the near and short term? Can India readily abandon oil, now cheap and from a region which gives jobs to our expatriate population?
Decarbonising the transportation sector is an environmental priority globally, and hydrogen, the cleanest and most plentiful of fuels, is central to achieving this goal. If hydrogen mobility is actively pursued, India’s large reserves of gas hydrates and shale gas can be tapped for commercial use. Such a shift in choice of fuel will also ensure India’s energy security
The United Nations’ 2015 Paris Agreement called for the immediate sequestration of atmospheric anthropogenic greenhouse gases to help avert serious environmental degradation. India can take the lead in this because it is the second largest emitter of methane. Of all the natural greenhouse gases, methane is the hardiest. Technological advances are making it possible to crack methane into gaseous hydrogen and solid carbon on a commercial scale. Methane cracking can provide a steady supply of hydrogen for futuristic transportation and solid carbon materials — graphene, carbon nanotubes, synthetic diamonds — which are integral to the marine, aerospace and space industries. The commercial benefits apart, methane cracking will also go a long way in meeting the Paris Agreement’s climate change mitigation objectives. This paper offers some concrete recommendations that can help the government of India shape national legislation and global geoeconomic strategies