Coercive and Liberal environmentalism

Context– India’s ability to influence the new geopolitics of climate change will depend a lot on its domestic political resilience in adapting to the new imperatives.

What are China’s climate commitment?
  • China would become carbon net-zero by the year 2060.
  • Also, China now aims to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030.That means China would not allow its greenhouse gas emissions to grow beyond that point.
What is Coercive and liberal environmentalism?

China’s coercive environmentalism

The Chinese government pursues its environmental goals with the authoritarian tools it has available: mandatory targets, mass campaigns, top-down bans, factory closures, forced relocations, and even household trash inspectors who can ticket offenders.

  • Effective state intervention- Enforcing new environmental norms in the last few years has helped China shed the image of being the “bad boy” on climate issues.
  • China has been “codifying” environmental policies into clear rules, regulations and laws.
Joe biden’s environmental polices-
  • Modernizing liberal environmentalism that relies on political consensus in drafting new environmental norms and their effective enforcement as well as the reliance on market-based mechanisms.
  • To enforce environmental regulations which were either diluted or discarded by the Donald Trump administration and enhance the incentives for polluters to compensate for their violation of norms.
  • Climate justice– The recognition that pollution and other ecological problems have a greater impact on the poor and minorities.
  • Special focus on an early end to the worldwide use of coal.
  • Rejoining the Paris Accord to set accelerated timelines for reducing carbon emissions.

However, Coercive and Liberal approaches to managing climate change totally different but they share some important objectives.

  • Both China and the US (along with the West) recognize the urgency of the climate challenge.
  • US and China, both are racing to develop new technologies that will constitute the foundations of the green economic future.
  • Both have zeroed in on industrial policy to achieve their climate objectives.
  • Both understand that climate politics is in the end about rearranging the global order.
What are the challenges ahead of India?
  • The urgency of addressing climate change is likely to intensify in the immediate term with the election of Biden as US President and the prospect of cooperation on climate change between Washington and Beijing.
  • Puts Pressure on India: European Union and 70 other countries (that have relatively low emissions) have committed itself to a net-zero emission status by 2050. The new direction of Chinese and US policies in Environmental Initiatives puts pressure India

Way forward-

India’s real test on climate change is on building a new domestic consensus that can address the economic and political costs associated with an internal adjustment to the prospect of a great global reset.

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