How Indian Civil Society Organizations Help Tackle the Climate Crisis

A person harvests tea leaves in Kerala, India. Picture courtesy: Rawpixel.

IDR

What is the role that civil society organizations (CSOs) are playing to advance climate action in India?

Mandal

CSOs have played a critical role in generating research and evidence as well as in advocating for the need for climate action in India over the last decade.

IDR

How do you see this happening? How can CSOs adopt a climate change lens to their existing work?

Mandal

It is essential for CSOs to understand the interlinkages between their work and climate change. At the end of the day, the same land that provides food, water, and biodiversity will also provide space for solar panels and wind generators.

IDR

What does this communication with other stakeholders look like? And what role do CSOs play?

Mandal

Once we have built the capacity of CSOs at the subnational level, it becomes easier to extend this narrative to other actors through them.

IDR

What are some of the other gaps that need to be addressed in the climate action space?

Mandal

If we take a step back and look at the larger issue of institutional capacity building, the government is a huge driver of this change in many aspects. However, there is limited capability even within government systems to deliver on climate action because India is experimenting with an entirely new form of growth. Countries in the Global North developed first and are only decarbonizing now. However, for India and many other developing nations, it is a new developmental paradigm — we are decarbonizing as we grow.

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