Australia, the UK and Denmark have one. Does India too need a minister for climate change?
What we currently have is a minister for environment and forests, a throwback to an era when the primary green challenges included giving or withholding environmental clearances to new industrial projects, protecting forests and, perhaps, tigers as well.
These challenges remain, but clearly the biggest green challenge today is fighting the climate change threat through a combination of technology and economic incentives, even as national interest has to be protected when global deals are being hammered out.
The current minister, Jairam Ramesh, has already made his mark, and is a cut above predecessors who used the ministry as a personal cash machine. But his job needs to be redefined.
India does not need a new ministry. Perish the thought. The existing ministry should be renamed, to tell citizens what its main job will be in the coming years. And the old tasks can easily be outsourced to independent regulators.