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 simply announce a new set of carbon emissions goals instead of advocating for concrete policy change. This decision will not help the US combat climate change as the goals you have set are unenforceable. Lobbyists, NGOs, scientists, and the international community are sick of toothless political statements and view your attempt at domestic leadership on climate change as a failure.

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 poor job. You did not make any meaningful progress with regards to domestic energy policy. Furthermore, 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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