Master’s alumnus Manuj Bhardwaj, a lawyer from India, has been awarded a United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) programme scholarship, 2021-23, from the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. IPCC Secretary Abdallah Mokssit called the programme “an important step in the fight against climate change enabling the implementation of innovative and efficient solutions”.
Manuj is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Law from American University, Washington DC, where he is researching how economic growth and climate action can be symbiotic for both developing and under-developed countries, focusing in particular on international climate policy and energy law. As part of his doctorate, Manuj is creating an overview of the relevant legislative and regulatory framework, and how federal and state regulators and policy leaders work cooperatively (or uncooperatively) to balance economic, environmental, and societal values. His study on The Importance of Climate Justice was published by Connect4Climate, a global partnership programme of the World Bank Group.
For Manuj, “sustainability focuses on intergenerational equity or the idea of justice between generations. As we consume what’s around us, we have to ensure that future generations will also have what we are using or enjoying. As a believer in sustainable development and the rule of law, I entered a Master’s degree programme that allowed me to study the issue of climate change from both a legal and policy perspective.
“My doctoral research indicates that India should embrace a more dynamic approach toward the climate challenge through its domestic policies and laws. This research will also address how India could be part of an equitable overall solution, based on climate justice and common but differentiated responsibilities.
“Because India holds a two-fold position in international climate politics – an impoverished and developing country with low levels of past and per capita emissions, but with a huge and speedily growing economy with growing greenhouse emissions – Indian climate politics can get stuck on misguided and short-term priorities that harm the longer-term goals of true sustainability.
“My research not only assesses the science behind climate change, but also the legal and policy actions required to tackle it. I want to elevate the contributions of the scientific community in the development of international climate change law and policy, particularly the IPCC’s ongoing assessments of the relevant scientific, technical and socio-economic information.
“Proposing a new national policy rather than a new international policy in this thesis is an attempt to make a successful bottom–up approach in the climate change legal and policy framework. If the policies and laws are already having proper enforcement in a country then the international community can use it as a best practice for a more effective enforcement of existing international laws.”
The opinions expressed here are the author’s own; they do not necessarily reflect the views of UNU.
UN / IPCC