The emerging era of climate diplomacy

Image source: The Print

Climate change as a phenomenon is gaining worldwide attention with every passing day. The threat of rising global temperatures is looming over our world as there is a serious danger to the flora, fauna and resources all over the world. Till the last century attention was on massive industrial developments and to an extent it was necessary as well given the fact that many nations were throwing away the yoke of colonialism and establishing their own identities, so to get a head-start in the ever-burgeoning era of industrialisation and to also ensure that they are not left behind the newly-independent nations joined this industrial race.

            If we talk about Asia, then besides Japan, countries such as China which had become a Communist Republic in 1949 and India, which was aspiring to spread its wings into the sky of growth had begun to play a key role in the industrial and technological growth of India. Even before its independence in 1947 India was already thinking of making itself technologically sustainable. A great proof for this was that even before the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in India, Homi Jehangir Bhabha had already thought about using nuclear technology for power production, similarly China had also begun to develop itself technologically and industrially. A wave of industrialisation was sweeping all across the world. However, by the last decade of the 20th century, it was gradually being understood that this massive industrialisation is threatening nature and the environment and hence in 1992 the world witnessed the coming together of nations for a major forum to address this serious problem, known as the Rio Earth Summit of 1992, since then the world has been witnessing the gathering of nations in the form of the United Nations Conference of Parties or COP to seriously deliberate on the issue of nature’s degradation and the threat that is looming like a sword over humanity- the Climate Change.

            Climate Change has resulted in the growth and emergence of a new way of development of International Relations. The partnerships among the different nations are now incorporating newer ways to tackle the menace of climate change. Climate Change surely has introduced a new arm in the field of International Relations- the Climate Diplomacy. Diplomacy is definitely an effective medium by which new, great partnerships can be forged among the nations for addressing the problem of climate change. A glaring example of how an effective diplomacy can be a great medium to forge better relations among nations while simultaneously addressing and tackling the issue of climate change is the India-Denmark Green Partnership. Very recently, India and Denmark had forged the very landmark Green Strategic Partnership in September 2020. This gave a great impetus to an effective tackling of the issue of climate change.

            The India-Denmark Green Strategic Partnership can be greatly understood as the ‘Partnership of the 21st century’. The reason for the usage of this term is that most of the partnerships among the nations that held a domination for a major part of the History of International Relations till now was based on military alliances or the alliances based on industrial technology. Then, the Space Race also gained momentum, especially during the Cold War Era. Climate Change is a phenomenon that has gained a huge worldwide attention and has indeed become a matter of great concern in the 21st century, particularly in the light of the landmark Paris Agreement or COP 21 in 2015 where it was decided to limit the global temperature to 1.5 degree celsius.

Image source: Tribune India

            The visit of the Prime Minister of Denmark Her Excellency Mette Frederiksen to India greatly boosted not only the cordial bilateral relations of India and Denmark but also strengthened the Green Strategic Partnership of the two nations. Several Memorandums of Understanding were signed between India and Denmark which reflected the great spirit of cooperation. Both Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen of Denmark and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India were optimistic about the strong Indo-Denmark relations, particularly the Green Strategic Partnership. [1]Speaking at an event organised by the Observer Research Foundation, Her Excellency PM Mette Frederiksen of Denmark mentioned that the Green Strategic Partnership between India and Denmark presents a unique framework of cooperation. The Prime Minister highlighted the fact that Denmark has the skills while India has the scale to implement the knowledge. The bilateral relations between India and Denmark are already very energy driven given the fact that the two countries already cooperate with each on offshore wind and renewable energy and further cooperation is being expected in environment, water management and urban planning.

            [2]Another important development that deserves a great attention is the Arctic 2050 strategy. From the point of view of Climate Diplomacy this is important because of the fact that there is an ongoing cooperation between Russia and the Western countries, mostly the Nordic countries despite the fact that Russia is not on very cordial terms with the West. However, it is the Climate Change phenomenon that has brought Russia and the West on the path of cooperation and the optimism is understood by the fact that Russia too is desirous of an effective cooperation with the West on the issue of the Arctic and does not wish to get into any confrontation. Arctic truly deserves the attention, understanding and cooperation of the world and not any sort of political confrontation. Regions like the Arctic are one of those regions that are severely vulnerable to the harms of Climate Change given the fact that rising global temperatures are severely responsible for the melting of the polar ice caps.

            India’s status as an Observer at the Arctic Council is also a sign of the cooperation not only from the Nordic countries but also from the Asian nations such as India. India and the Nordic countries can truly develop great expertise on the issue of Arctic conservation and India’s role would be very vital on this issue as the same will reflect India’s understanding and capability of handling the Arctic problem while developing a great image as the country that touches upon every aspect of Climate Change from the ice caps to forest cover to desertification. The International Solar Alliance launched by India in collaboration with France is another major milestone in realising the importance of effective utilisation and development of technology based on renewable resources. The time is now to tap and realise the potential of our renewables in every possible and imaginable way and the International Solar Alliance is just the pioneer in this major approach, similarly the re-joining of the United States of America to the Paris Agreement, 107 days after it had left it during the Trump Regime is one of the biggest hallmarks in the optimism of effectively targeting and tackling the menace of Climate Change given the fact that America is such a huge emitter of Carbon Dioxide.

Image source: Oxford Student

            The COP 26 at Glasgow, United Kingdom has been a major platform for developing and forging climate-based relations among the nations. [3]The launching of the Green Grid Initiative by India and the United Kingdom is definitely a major step towards the transition to Green Energy and Green Technology which is of paramount importance in tackling Climate Change. The ‘One Sun One World One Grid’ would surely be a boon for saving our planet from this menace and would solve the problem of power crisis in the ‘Green Way’. [4]The backing of this initiative by the United States of America is another major boost to this milestone.

            International Relations among the nations of the world have truly entered a new phase with Climate Change dominating every aspect of life every day. The importance of stronger ties among the nations of the world has never been felt so profoundly as during these times. From Asia to Europe to the Americas, efforts are being directed towards an effective solution to prevent the damage to our beloved Earth by the menace of Climate Change. Truly, if Climate Change and rising global temperatures are the demons threatening the survival of our flora and fauna then an effective and strong Climate Diplomacy is the weapon that can vanquish these demons. For a better world the nations have to set aside their differences and stand together united because “Together We Can and Together We Will”.

[1] Reference taken from:

[2] Reference taken from the Article- Arctic new future is ahead by Slavisha Batko Milacic dated 8th November 2021 featured in The Kootneeti.

[3] Reference From:

[4] Reference From:

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Kshitij Shandilya,

Kshitij Shandilya is a second year student of law pursuing my legal education from The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata.

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