Energy policies, liberalization and the framing of climate change policies in India
Global climate change has emerged a new environmental issue affecting developing countries particularly after the signing of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in June 1992. This dissertation focuses on the factors which motivate Indian responses to global climate change at the international level.
The study evaluates the relative impacts of two policy frames in the formulation of India's national climate change policy stance. The concept of "policy frames" refers to the idea that the definition of, and responses to a particular problem are constructed in terms of another more pressing and salient policy concern. A "policy frame" is an analytically constructed policy filter comprised of key, identifiable, policy features and existing resource constraints in a sector. The study traces the evolution of national energy (coal power and renewable energy) and environment sector policies under centralized planning based on a survey of a series of Five Year Plans (1970-1997). Characteristic sectoral policies are identified as constituting an "energy-related development policy frame" and an "environment-related development policy frame" under two distinct phases of national economic development--a managed economy and a liberalized economy.
The study demonstrates that the 1991 shift towards phased economic liberalization resulted not only in a new set of energy (coal, power and renewable energy) policies and consequently an altered energy policy frame, but also in a largely unchanged set of environmental sector policies and consequently only a marginally altered environmental policy frame. The study demonstrates that the post-1991 energy policy changes together with existing energy resource constraints, constitute the dominant policy frame driving both the formulation of Indian policy stances at international climate change negotiations and also Indian responsiveness to coal, power, renewable energy, and climate change projects funded by the World Bank and GEF.
The study also demonstrates that key features of the energy policy frame functions as a shared cognitive reference for a select group of national policy actors (comprising both policy makers and policy experts), responsible for formulating climate change policy responses. The study highlights the influential role played by very small set of national policy experts who construct national climate change options on the basis of features of the energy policy frame.
0616: International law
0616: International relations
0768: Environmental science