Chapter 12: The Environment and International Relations


India is the world's fourth largest carbon emitter. Its emissions will only grow in the years to come as the country develops. For example, India is projected to increase its carbon dioxide output by 1.7% annually. The Indian government prefers to adopt adaptation to mitigation when it comes to national climate change policy as they strongly believe that their low emissions rate per capita absolves them of overwhelming responsibility to combat climate change.


As the president of the United States crafting national and international strategies for dealing with climate change, you have made a series of decisions. Let's analyze the implications of each of your choices.

First, you decided to subsidize renewable energy. This was a great decision as you have made the transition to low-cost renewable energy alternatives easier. Over time, the wind and nuclear energy industries will use your subsidies to innovate and drive down their costs. As renewable energy costs decrease, more and more businesses will spurn fossil fuels for renewables to fuel their industrial efforts. This will help the US meet its future emission reduction goals.

Second, you chose to pursue a bilateral agreement with India. The Indian government agreed to non-binding long-term standards for emissions. You offered technological and financial assistance in exchange for binding emissions standards, but the Indian government did not think your assistance package was sufficient to fully overcome economic costs. As a result, your bilateral agreement is relatively weak and ineffective.

Overall, you have done a subpar job. You made solid progress with regards to domestic energy policy. Unfortunately, your bilateral pact with India will not create any meaningful change. As the threat of climate change looms large, the international community must band together and act before it is too late.

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