China and India’s participation in global climate negotiations

  • Sean Walsh
  • Huifang Tian
  • John Whalley
  • Manmohan Agarwal
Original Paper


In this paper, we discuss a range of issues concerning developing country participation in current global climate change mitigation negotiations, especially India and China. We argue that the problem of redefining ‘common yet differentiated responsibilities’ in a way which allows developing countries room to pursue their individual development goals while still achieving the necessary level of carbon mitigation is central to the debate. The choice of negotiating instruments, effective technology transfer and financial support, and other related issues have been raised principally by China and India, and may also be raised by several other countries. Kyoto non-compliance by Annex 1 countries will also greatly impact the negotiating power of China and India and other developing countries. We conclude that, once basic principles are clearly defined, the greatest incentive for China and India to participate in climate change negotiations is the prospect of future negotiating rounds that can be linked to a large number of climate change related issues, such as intellectual property, the potential for financial transfers and trade/market access.


China India Climate change International negotiations Development 



Common but differentiated responsibilities


Clean development mechanism


United Nations


United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development


World Trade Organisation


Foreign Direct Investment


Gross Domestic Product


Purchasing Power Parity


Carbon dioxide


Greenhouse gasses


Ministry of Environment and Forests (India)


Small and medium enterprises


Intellectual property rights


Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change


Conference of the Parties [to the UNFCCC]



The authors would like to acknowledge support from Renmin University of China and the Special Academic Fund of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The authors would also like to acknowledge support from the Ontario Research Fund, the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the University of Western Ontario.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sean Walsh
    • 1
  • Huifang Tian
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • John Whalley
    • 1
    • 3
  • Manmohan Agarwal
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)WaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS)BeijingChina
  3. 3.University of Western Ontario (UWO)LondonCanada

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