At the international level, India is emerging as a key actor in climate negotiations, while at the national and sub-national levels, the climate policy landscape is becoming more active and more ambitious. It is essential to unravel this complex landscape if we are to understand why policy looks the way it does, and the extent to which India might contribute to a future international framework for tackling climate change as well as how international parties might cooperate with and support India’s domestic efforts.

Drawing on both primary and secondary data, this paper analyzes the material and ideational drivers that are most strongly influencing policy choices at different levels, from international negotiations down to individual states. The authors argue that at each level of decision making in India, climate policy is embedded in wider policy concerns. In the international realm, it is being woven into broader foreign policy strategy, while domestically, it is being shaped to serve national and sub-national development interests.

While the analysis highlights some common drivers at all levels, it also finds that their influences over policy are not uniform across the different arenas, and in some cases, they work in different ways at different levels of policy. The authors also indicate what this may mean for the likely acceptability within India of various climate policies being pushed at the international level.

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