New article on politically informed work for climate change mitigation in China and India
How do government agencies use politically informed strategies to influence wider government agendas? In Development Policy Review, Tom Harrison and Genia Kostka draw on their DLP research project to explore Bureaucratic manoeuvres and the local politics of climate change mitigation in China and India. They examine how government agencies seek to overcome challenges of limited capacity and competing priorities by bundling climate change with more immediate priorities to build a coalition with an interest in achieving these objectives.
They found that in both countries pragmatic approaches leveraging what already exists made significant progress in putting energy efficiency on the agenda, strengthening institutional presence (in India) and improving energy efficiency (in China). Yet, they also found these tactics had limitations.
There was probably no other way that the policy space given to climate change mitigation could have increased so rapidly, but the traction gained by these initial policy approaches had significant side effects. While bundling raised the profile of energy efficiency, it also created perverse incentives. This highlights the need to consider the long-term effects on the interests, capacity and sustainability of informal coalitions.
The researchers note that it is important to take account of both the short- and long-term effects of politically informed approaches, although doing so is challenging when outcomes are unpredictable and difficult to assess.
See the authors’ open-access 2012 DLP Research Paper on this topic: Manoeuvres for a Low Carbon State: The Local Politics of Climate Change in China and India.