Manuj Bhardwaj
Manuj Bhardwaj

AUWCL SJD Student Receives UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Scholarship

November 4, 2021

Manuj Bhardwaj’s passion for sustainability and leveraging the power of law to promote climate action has guided his doctoral research into how his home country of India can be part of the global solution to climate change. 

His commitment to this work was recently recognized on the global stage when he became the first lawyer/law student to be awarded the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Scholarship. Bhardwaj, who is pursuing an SJD under the supervision of Prof. William Snape with a focus on International Environmental and Climate law, was recently presented the award for 2021-23 by Prince Albert II of Monaco and IPCC Secretary Dr. Abdalah Mokssit in a ceremony in Monte Carlo. 

Scholarship Ceremony

The scholarship, now in its 10th year, is awarded to doctorate students who are citizens of developing countries who are not studying in their country of origin. It is awarded to students who are pursuing research in such fields as living soils, biodiversity, regenerative viticulture, agroforestry, water management and terrestrial carbon cycle. Bhardwaj is the third student from India to receive the scholarship.

“Environmental law jurisprudence defines the word sustainable,” said Bhardwaj, whose research centers on the confluence of economic growth and climate action in developing and under developing countries. “As I understand it, sustainability focuses on intergenerational equity, or the idea of justice between generations. As we consume what’s around us, we have to be careful to ensure that future generations also have use of what we are using or enjoying.” 

Bhardwaj is working on a proposal for a national policy framework based on his research that would help India, as a developing and rapidly growing country, embrace a more dynamic approach to addressing climate change through domestic policies and laws that elevate the science behind it. 

“My research will also address how India could propose to be part of an equitable overall solution, based on climate justice and common but differentiated responsibilities,” he added. “Because India holds an interesting 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.”

“As world leaders work to create sustainability policies that keep the planet livable, it’s becoming increasingly clear that we cannot solve our problems without national and international legal frameworks. Specialist lawyers will play a crucial role on issues like limiting emissions and preserving forests.” 

Bhardwaj’s study on The Importance of Climate Justice has been published by Connect4Climate,  a global partnership program of the World Bank Group and the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea, together with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.