The future of human life on our planet is influenced increasingly by what goes on in the rising powers. This paper provides a political economy analysis of the climate-relevant policies of China, India, Brazil and South Africa.
It shows that alliances play a key role in driving such policies. However, most actors who support such policies have priorities other than climate change mitigation. Their support for such policies comes from concerns with securing energy, building competitive green industries, creating jobs or providing a basis for future public revenue. This insight is not just of analytical but also of political importance. It means that climate-relevant policies can draw on support from a wide constituency – not just those with green convictions. Such analysis provides the stepping-stone for understanding the political feasibility of low-carbon transformations.