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New Books

Handbook of climate change and India: Development, Politics and Governance

Navroz K. Dubash (Ed.), 2015, Routledge, 400 p., ISBN:981138924017

How do policymakers, businesses and civil society in India approach the challenge of climate change? What do they believe global climate negotiations will achieve and how? And how are Indian political and policy debates internalizing climate change? Relatively little is known globally about internal climate debate in emerging industrializing countries, but what happens in rapidly growing economies like India’s will increasingly shape global climate change outcomes.

This Handbook brings together prominent voices from India, including policymakers, politicians, business leaders, civil society activists and academics, to build a composite picture of contemporary Indian climate politics and policy. One section lays out the range of positions and substantive issues that shape Indian views on global climate negotiations. Another delves into national politics around climate change. A third looks at how climate change is beginning to be internalized in sectoral policy discussions over energy, urbanization, water, and forests. The volume is introduced by an essay that lays out the critical issues shaping climate politics in India, and its implications for global politics.

The papers show that, within India, climate change is approached primarily as a developmental challenge and is marked by efforts to explore how multiple objectives of development, equity and climate mitigation can simultaneously be met. There are growing voices of concern on the impacts of climate change on India. How domestic debates over climate governance are resolved in the coming years, and the evolution of India’s global negotiation stance are likely to be important inputs towards creating shared understanding across countries in the years ahead, and identify ways forward. This volume on the Indian experience with climate change and development is a valuable contribution to both purposes.

The Age of Sustainable Development

Jeffrey D. Sachs, March 2015, Columbia University Press, ISBN: 9780231173155, 544 p., $34.95/ £23.95

Jeffrey D. Sachs is one of the world’s most perceptive and original analyst of global development. In this major new work he presents a compelling and practical framework for how global citizens can use a holistic way forward to address the seemingly intractable worldwide problems of persistent extreme poverty, environmental degradation, and political-economic injustice: sustainable development.

Sachs offers readers, students, activists, environmentalists, and policy makers the tools, metrics, and practical pathways they need to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. Far more than a rhetorical exercise, this book is designed to inform, inspire, and spur action. Based on Sachs’s twelve years as director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, his thirteen years advising the United Nations secretary-general on the Millennium Development Goals, and his recent presentation of these ideas in a popular online course, The Age of Sustainable Development is a landmark publication and clarion call for all who care about our planet and global justice.

Valuing variability: new perspectives on climate resilient drylands development

Saverio Krätli, Apr 2015 – IIED, Edited by de Jode H, 90 p., http://pubs.iied.org/10128IIED.html

This book is a challenge to those who see the drylands as naturally vulnerable to food insecurity and poverty. It argues that improving agricultural productivity in dryland environments is possible by working with climatic uncertainty rather than seeking to control it – a view that runs contrary to decade of development practice in arid and semi-arid lands.

Across China, Kenya and India – and most other dryland countries – family farmers and herders relate to the inherent variability of the drylands as a resource to be valued, rather than a problem to be avoided. By exploring these vibrant agricultural economies that take advantage of variability, this book inverts longstanding negative views about food security in the drylands.