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Energy and Environment in India

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Energy and Environment in India: The Politics of a Chronic Crisis

By Johannes Urpelainen

July 2023

India is driving some of the most important trends in global energy markets—with vast environmental implications. As the country grows wealthier, Indians are buying more cars, air conditioners, plane tickets, and other goods that increase demand for fossil fuels. At the same time, the country still faces widespread poverty, and it struggles to address persistent environmental and energy-sector problems, from frequent power outages to a significant number of deaths linked to air pollution.

Johannes Urpelainen provides an expert guide to India’s energy and environmental issues that incorporates both domestic and global perspectives. He details how unequal economic development and rapid population growth have brought the country to its current state: a potential engine of the world economy hampered by environmental hazards and energy poverty. Urpelainen argues that institutional shortcomings have led wealthier Indians to find private solutions that protect them from threats such as air pollution and heat waves, but exclude the poor. The retreat of the rich limits the state’s ability to regulate the energy sector or address environmental degradation. Urpelainen examines India’s most severe environmental crises, considering how climate disruptions are affecting the country’s present and future. He analyzes India’s role in global environmental politics and assesses the prospects of achieving a more sustainable society. Useful and accessible, this book also offers pragmatic solutions to help overcome the constraints on effective energy and environmental policy.

About the Author

Johannes Urpelainen is the Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Professor of Energy, Resources, and Environment at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the founding director of the Initiative for Sustainable Energy Policy. His recent books include Global Environmental Politics: The Transformative Role of Emerging Economies (Columbia, 2022).


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Books Energy Security

Energy and Environment in India