Talking Climate in Public Space
by India Climate Justice Collective
first published 19 March 2015
The third issue of the new Mausam, a magazine published by the India Climate Justice collective aiming to facilitate constructive and creative debate on climate issues, connecting them to local struggles over natural resources, fossil fuel extraction, and land, livelihood and food rights.
An editorial summarises how the BJP-led government has downgraded the issue of climate change and dismantled environmental legislation and regulations since it took office in May 2014. As a result, new thermal power, large hydroelectric, coal mining and road projects have been rapidly approved, further marginalising adivasis and other grassroots communities.
The issue reports on how communities are struggling with the realities of a climate-changed world, including those in the state of Uttarakhand in northern India following massive landslides in June 2013, and those in the south-western Sunderbans facing the Bay of Bengal who have had to abandon agricultural and dwelling land because sea water now flows daily over it throughout the vast delta.
An in-depth article examines India's REDD+ strategy. REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation of forests) ostensibly seeks to protect forests in the global South so as to minimise carbon dioxide emissions from them, but is in fact a carbon trading scheme. The article concludes that money from carbon forestry is at the core of India's strategy, some of which may trickle down to poorer people who depend on the forests -- as long as they stay away from the forests.
Other analytical articles explore India’s environmental and climate policies; international climate negotiations; and links between drought and El Nino in India.