India’s megacities and climate change: explorations from Delhi and Mumbai

This paper is a study of climate change discourse in urban India. It suggests that the policies being articulated to deal with climate issues are premised on incremental changes rather than radical re-planning of Indian cities. The paper tries to ask as to what explains this incremental approach. Is the threat of climate change simply adding further dimensions to existing urban concerns or does it offer a way to rethink conventional approaches towards dealing with urban environmental crises and in the process evolve new sets of technologies, expertise, power dynamics and also normative quotients and priorities? How are climate change challenges affected by issues such as politics, political economy, class and inequality? The paper first outlines the national context around the backdrop of global trends. It then focuses on specific climate change discourses in Delhi and Mumbai before turning to look at specific sectors such a transport, energy, waste, water and disasters. It concludes with final reflection and a future research agenda.