AbstractThis article sheds light on multi-level climate governance in the particular context of India and scrutinizes the role India?s subnational states play in climate policy. It uses an analytical lens that combines multi-level climate governance and ?laboratories of experimentation?. The first part of the article clarifies the analytical concept of the article and deals with the phenomenon of states experimentation in multi-level climate governance structures from a theoretical background. The second part of the article explores India?s multi-level climate governance structure and sheds light on the role of India?s states therein with specific emphasis on the development of renewable energy. The third part looks at the multi-tiered climate action planning processes, and considers how central top-down policies and subnational bottom-up approaches are linked. Asking whether the Indian states do not only act as mere implementers of federal top-down policies, but instead create own initiatives for climate action. The article examines state climate action plans with particular focus on renewable energy initiatives integrated in the plans by asking whether the Indian states do not act solely as mere implementers of federal top-down policies, but instead create their own initiatives for climate action, much like the German BundeslÃ¤nder, for example. Based on document analysis and interviews the article explores whether India?s states experiment with individual approaches to develop renewable energy which are, tailored to regional specifics, or whether they mainly implement national objectives.