Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

India’s climate Vulnerability


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Environmental Impact Assessment

Mains level: Paper 3- Climate change and its impact on India


In the absence of COVID-19, climate change-induced disasters would have been India’s biggest red alert in recent years.

India’s vulnerabilities

  • Temperatures over the Indian Ocean have risen by over 1°C since the 1950s, increasing extreme weather events.
  • India is the fourth worst-hit in climate migration.
  • Heat waves in India have claimed an estimated 17,000 lives since the 1970s.
  • Labour losses from rising heat, by one estimate, could reach ₹1.6 lakh crore annually if global warming exceeds 2°C, with India among the hardest hit.
  • Extreme heat waves hit swathes of India. Heatwaves are aggravated by deforestation and land degradation, which also exacerbate fires.
  • Agriculture, being water-intensive, does not do well in heat wave-prone areas.

Way forward

  • Two part approach: India needs a two-part approach:
  • Adaptation: one, to adapt to climate impacts by building resilience against weather extremes, and
  • Mitigation: to mitigate environmental destruction to prevent climate change from becoming more lethal.
  • Climate resistant agriculture: Agricultural practices which are not water-intensive and to support afforestation that has a salutary effect on warming.
  • Financial transfers can be targeted to help farmers plant trees and buy equipment — for example, for drip irrigation that reduces heavy water usage.
  • Crop diversification: Climate-resilient agriculture calls for diversification — for example, the cultivation of multiple crops on the same farm.
  • Climate-resilient agriculture calls for diversification — for example, the cultivation of multiple crops on the same farm
  • Managing vulnerable regions in coastal zones: Floods and storms are worsened by vast sea ingress and coastline erosion in the low-lying areas in the south.
  • It is vital to map flood-risk zones to manage vulnerable regions.
  • Environment Impact Assessments must be mandatory for commercial projects.
  • Design changes: Communities can build round-shaped houses, considering optimum aerodynamic orientation to reduce the strength of the winds.
  • Roofs with multiple slopes can stand well in strong winds, and central shafts reduce wind pressure on the roof by sucking in air from outside.
  • Moving away from fossil fuels: Adaptation alone will not slow climate damages if the warming of the sea level temperatures is not confronted.
  • Leading emitters, including India, must move away from fossil fuels.
  • Expanding and protecting forest cover: a big part of climate action lies in protecting and expanding forest coverage.
  • India gains from being part of the Glasgow declaration on forest protection that 141 countries signed in 2021.
  • Management of dams: Nearly 295 dams in India are more than 100 years old and need repairs.
  • In stemming landslides in Uttarakhand, regulations must stop the building of dams on steep slopes and eco-fragile areas, as well as the dynamiting of hills, sand mining, and quarrying.
  • Climate financing: India’s share in disaster management should be raised to 2.5% of GDP.
  • Climate finance is most suited for large-scale global funding from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Asian Development Bank.
  • But smaller-scale financing can also be vital.


For public pressure to drive climate action, we need to consider climate catastrophes as largely man-made.


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