Climate Policy

  • T. N Balasubramanian 
  • A. Nambi Appadurai


The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) as early as in 1976 talked about the potential ill effects of the increased accumulation of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere on the future climate and weather. The WMO along with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) did establish the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988 with a mandate to provide scientific information to governments on the risks associated with climate change and its impacts on natural and human systems. No doubt climate change is one of the defining challenges of the twenty-first century having a profound impact on the needs of the global population, poverty alleviation, sustenance of natural ecosystems and food security. Climate change is no longer considered to be just an environmental concern but also a development problem affecting both the developing and developed countries. One of the central policy issues in the context of climate change is how countries of the world should allocate resources. After a few years of intense engagement and international negotiation processes, the world community has signed the historic Paris climate agreement in 2015, which calls for substantive domestic and international climate actions to tackle climate issues. Individual countries are making efforts to strengthen their “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs) by streamlining their mitigation and adaptation initiatives. Some of the areas where investments have been made to reshape policies and actions include (i) renewable energy, (ii) building of rural and urban resilience capacity, (iii) poverty alleviation and (iv) sectoral priorities. The environmental governance focus is also shifting from National to the sub-National and local level. Internationally, there have been considerable efforts in synchronising the INDC commitments with the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs). One of the key policy agreement that Parties entered under the Paris agreement is to stabilise rising temperature below 2 °C preferably to limit to 1.5 °C. At the local level, policy actions should focus on assessing the vulnerability of both physical and social systems to climate change, development of best bet technology to reduce the impacts of climate change and measures to enhance the adaptive capacities of local communities and enhance overall climate risk management capacity of the region. Transformative changes could be achieved by developing and executing proactive environmental and climate risk management policies, promoting effective implementation strategies and linking responsive institutions across scales for achieving activities effectively. Though developed countries are fundamentally responsible for global warming, the major impacts are borne by poor and marginalised countries. Hence, the international climate regime needs innovative climate policies and institutional structures that would help promote international cooperation. It is also imperative to design and implement appropriate national climate policies that would contribute to individual countries’ green growth and promote climate-sensitive development. This chapter focuses on the elements that go into the making of climate policy and their relevance to the emerging global and national scenarios.


Climate policy UNFCCC Kyoto protocol Copenhagen agreement Paris agreement Climate policy-making COP negotiations Per capita CO2 emissions 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. N Balasubramanian 
    • 1
  • A. Nambi Appadurai
    • 2
  1. 1.Agricultural Meteorology DepartmentTamil Nadu Agricultural UniversityCoimbatoreIndia
  2. 2.World Resources InstituteNew DelhiIndia

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