From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Global Climate Risk Index 2021
Mains level : Climate change vulnerability and the economics behind
India was ranked the seventh worst-hit country in 2019 in the Global Climate Risk Index 2021.
The report holds much significance for prelims as well as mains. Just for the sake of information, we must be aware of India’s performance.
Global Climate Risk Index
- The GCRI is released annually by the environmental think tank and sustainable development lobbyist Germanwatch.
- It analyses to what extent countries have been affected by the impacts of weather-related loss events (storms, floods, heat waves etc.).
- It pushes for the need to support developing countries in coping with the effects of climate change.
Highlights of the 2020 year
- Mozambique, Zimbabwe and The Bahamas were the worst-affected countries in 2019.
- While hurricane Dorian ravaged The Bahamas; Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi were affected by the single extreme weather event of cyclone Idai.
- Japan and Afghanistan were the other countries that fared worse than India on the Index, while South Sudan, Niger and Bolivia fared better in comparison but still made it to the top 10 worst-affected countries.
The burden of development
- Eight of the 10 countries most affected between 2000 and 2019 were developing countries with low or lower middle income per capita.
- Vulnerable people in developing countries suffered most from extreme weather events like storms, floods and heatwaves, whereas the impact of climate change was visible around the globe.
- Poorer countries are hit hardest because they are more vulnerable to the damaging effects of a hazard and have the lower coping capacity.
Data about India
- According to the Index floods caused by heavy rain in 2019 took 1,800 lives across 14 states in India and displaced 1.8 million people.
- Overall, the intense monsoon season affected 11.8 million people, with the economic damage estimated to be $10 billion (Rs.72,900 crore at $1=INR 72.9).
- A total of eight tropical cyclones meant that 2019 was one of the most active Northern Indian Ocean cyclone seasons on record. Six of them intensified to become “very severe”.
- The worst was Cyclone Fani in May 2019 which affected a total of 28 million people, killing nearly 90 people in India and Bangladesh, and causing economic losses of $8.1 billion (Rs.59,066 crore).