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

What is Climate Vulnerability Index?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Climate Vulnerability Index

Mains level: Mapping India's climate change vulnerability

Environmental think tank Council on Energy, Environment and Water has carried a first-of-its-kind district-level climate vulnerability assessment, or Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI).

Climate Vulnerability Index

  • The Index takes into account certain indicators when assessing the preparedness of a state or district.
  • It considers:
  1. Exposure (that is whether the district is prone to extreme weather events)
  2. Sensitivity (the likelihood of an impact on the district by the weather event)
  3. Adaptive capacity (what the response or coping mechanism of the district is)

Significance of CVI

  • CVI helps map critical vulnerabilities and plan strategies to enhance resilience and adapt by climate-proofing communities, economies and infrastructure.
  • Instead of looking at climate extremes in isolation, the study looks at the combined risk of hydro-met disasters, which is floods, cyclones and droughts, and their impact.
  • The study does not take into consideration other natural disasters such as earthquakes.

Why does India need a climate vulnerability index?

  • According to Germanwatch’s 2020 findings, India is the seventh-most vulnerable country with respect to climate extremes.
  • Extreme weather events have been increasing in the country such as supercyclone Amphan in the Bay of Bengal, which is now the strongest cyclone to be recorded in the country.
  • Recent events such as the landslides and floods in Uttarakhand and Kerala, have also increased in the past decade.
  • Further, the IPCC states that every degree rise in temperature will lead to a three per cent increase in precipitation, causing increased intensification of cyclones and floods.

Key findings of the CVI

According to CVI, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Bihar are most vulnerable to extreme climate events such as floods, droughts and cyclones in India.

  • 183 hotspot districts are highly vulnerable to more than one extreme climate events
  • 60% of Indian districts have medium to low adaptive capacity in handing extreme weather events – these districts don’t have robust plans in place to mitigate impact
  • North-eastern states are more vulnerable to floods
  • South and central are most vulnerable to extreme droughts
  • 59 and 41 per cent of the total districts in the eastern and western states, respectively, are highly vulnerable to extreme cyclones.

Best performing states

  • Kerala and West Bengal have performed well comparatively, despite both being coastal states and dealing with the threat of cyclones and floods annually.
  • The reason why these states have performed better is that they have stepped up their climate action plans as well as preparedness to handle an extreme weather event.

Key recommendations

  • Develop a high-resolution Climate Risk Atlas (CRA) to map critical vulnerabilities
  • Establish a centralised climate-risk commission to coordinate the environmental de-risking mission.
  • Undertake climate-sensitivity-led landscape restoration focused on rehabilitating, restoring, and reintegrating natural ecosystems as part of the developmental process.
  • Integrate climate risk profiling with infrastructure planning to increase adaptive capacity.
  • Provide for climate risk-interlinked adaptation financing by creating innovative CVI-based financing instruments that integrate climate risks for an effective risk transfer mechanism.


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