The ‘climate dialectic’ in energy policy: Germany and India compared

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Energy Policy, 2016, 99 pp. 184 - 193
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© 2016 Climate change expresses the global development crisis as a crisis for all societies. Governments in both over-developed and under-developed countries are forced to square the circle between climate crisis and energy policy. Across these contexts the policy imperative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions cascades into energy policy, and into wider fields of social and political life. The article investigates this process, advancing the concept of a ‘climate dialectic’ in policy change. From this perspective, the article develops a critique of climate policies as they have emerged in Germany and India. This positions Germany, a high-income post-industrial society, with India, a low-income industrialising country. Key climate and energy initiatives from each country are compared and discussed in terms of a common effort at expanded development opportunities. In this respect, with the key objective of maintaining ‘growth as usual’, the persistence of coal-fired power and coal extraction becomes highly politicised. Energy policies are found to be increasingly embedded in the wider ‘climate dialectic’, forcing new, more transformative possibilities onto the agenda.
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