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India: The Sustainable Green Growth Challenge

Public Lecture

Wednesday 14th October 2015, 6.30pm to 8pm, Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, LSE

Speaker: Jairam Ramesh

Chair: Ruth Kattumuri

The debate on whether to privilege economic growth over ecological security is passé. Environmental considerations must be at the heart of economic growth, especially for a country of 1.25 billion people destined to add another 400 million by the middle of the century. Jairam Ramesh's new book Green Signals: Ecology, Growth, and Democracy in India chronicles the ‘1991 moment’ in India’s environmental decision-making, telling the story of how, for the first time, the doors of the environment ministry were opened to voices, hitherto unheard, into the policy-making process. It details efforts to change the way environment is viewed both by proponents of environmental security and those who prize economic growth at all costs.

Told from the perspective of a pivotal decision maker, the book addresses the challenges involved in trying to ensure economic growth with ecological security. It takes us through India’s coming of age in the global environmental and climate change community to take on a leadership role that is progressive, proactive, and steeped in national interest. Using speaking orders on high-profile projects, notes and letters to the Prime Minister, ministerial colleagues, chief ministers and others, Jairam Ramesh gives an insight into the debates, struggles, challenges, and obstacles to bringing environmental considerations into the mainstream of political and economic decision-making.

This collection reveals the story of the author’s attempt at the highest levels of governance to introduce effective decision-making, a transparent and accountable administration, and to make environmental concerns an essential component of a nation’s quest to accelerate economic growth and end the scourge of poverty and deprivation.

Jairam Ramesh is Chair of the Future Earth Engagement Committee, a research platform on global sustainability. Formerly he was the Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Environment and Forests, Government of India. He is also a member of the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of the Parliament of India.

Dr Ruth Kattumuri is Co-Director of the LSE Asia Research Centre and India Observatory.

Additional Information

This event is free and open to all but pre-registration through Eventbrite is required to attend.  Please direct any queries to india.observatory@lse.ac.uk or call 020 7955 7615.