“Copenhagen was many things to many people,” said Chatham House’s Cleo Paskal
, in a video interview with the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program, but “what was very clear was that India, specifically, was playing quite a strong, clear role in deciding how alignments would be working.” We spoke to Paskal following her presentation at a recent Wilson Center event
“I think [Copenhagen] was a bit of a litmus test for how geopolitics stand currently, and what’s clear is that unless India is treated more as an equal strategic, long-term partner of the West, it will find other alliances that are more conducive to what it perceives as state security and its national interests,” said Paskal. She argued that India’s future steps will also heavily influence Brazil and South Africa, and may impact the ability of the West to act unilaterally.
“If the U.S.-India relationship grows, you’ll start to see more movement in areas like Copenhagen or the WTO or things like that,” says Paskal, but “if [the U.S.-India relationship] starts to break down…you might start to see a growing relationship with China.”
Stay tuned to the New Security Beat for more in our series on “Backdraft: The Conflict Potential of Climate Adaptation and Mitigation.”