1. Give any decent fact from any report which highlights India’s vulnerability
2. What are the reasons for India’s vulnerability – explore all the climate, socio-economic and disaster-related reasons.
3. Provide both adaptation and mitigation mechanisms
Climate change is no more an environmental concern. It has emerged as the biggest developmental challenge. India is among the most vulnerable to climate change. A number of Indian States have experienced extreme heat waves in the past three years, and the nation’s capital recently recorded a temperature of 48°C, its hottest day in 21 years. Likewise, Kerala experienced intense floods and landslides in 2018 and 2019, is among the States with the highest
The reasons for India being rated high on climate vulnerability are as follows-
1. Poverty: According to multidimensional poverty index, 53% of Indians are multidimensional poor. Lack of inclusive policies and unresolved debate between environment and development would make poor and tribal people more vulnerable to climate change related activities.
2. Funding: Absence of well established green equity and debt markets in India along with USA pulling out of Paris Agreement has further complicated the funding mechanisms.
3. Technology: India lacks poorly in power efficient technologies like solar technologies and efficient thermal power plants. Low budgetary allocations towards research and development especially in the field of climate change makes India dependent on developed nations for technology transfer.
4. Data: India has inadequate mechanisms to collect data on climate change in India. Example: the changing flowering pattern of plants, breeding seasons of migratory birds, etc.
5. Lack of awareness: Despite numerous government initiatives, the solution to climate change lies with the people themselves. However, the lack of awareness among people hinders the success of various initiatives aiming at combating climate change.
6. Increasing temperatures and changing seasonal rainfall patterns are aggravating droughts and hurting agriculture and food security across the country.
7. India is not doing enough to boost its coastal and inland defences. These events become more damaging when infrastructure is not resilient.
8. A region’s vulnerability to temperature changes depends on several factors such as access to infrastructure (electricity, roads and water connections) and dependence on agriculture. According to the World Bank, central districts in India like Vidarbha region are the most vulnerable to climate change because they lack the infrastructure and are largely agrarian.
9. India’s exposure to climate hazards is heightened by the location of its vast coastline in the eye of the storm, across the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. For instance, in 2018-19, as many as 2,400 Indians lost their lives to extreme weather events such as floods and cyclones. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) says these events are increasing in both frequency and intensity.
The government needs to do more to build resilience in the sectors of agriculture, fisheries, manufacturing, energy, transport, health, and education.
The priority for spending at the national and State levels for disaster management needs to rise.
Adequate resources must also be allocated for implementing climate action plans that most States have now prepared.
Equally, it also needs to replace urgently its fossil fuels with renewable energy.