India is not prepared to tackle climate change impacts
Warming will slow down economic growth and make poverty reduction more difficult, and further erode food security
It is evident from the Working Group II (WG II) report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that climate change will impact the world severely and the risks are intensifying. This is expected to put the lives of the world’s poor at stake. India is especially vulnerable since it houses 33 per cent of the world’s poorest people.
According to the WG II report, India will experience decrease in seasonal mean rainfall and an increase in mean and extreme precipitation during monsoon. This will increase both floods and draught. Freshwater resources will be affected due a combination of climate change and unsustainable practices.
$7 billion agricultural loss
Projections on agriculture are stark: over US $7 billion loss in agriculture in India by 2030; sorghum yield will reduce by 2-14 per cent by 2020; there will be large reductions in wheat yield in the Indo-Gangetic plain; and substantial increase in heat stress for rice, affecting yield in the country. Agriculture apart, temperature variations will lead to outbreak of diseases as well and disturb the already poor health indicators of the country. Climate change will slow down economic growth and make poverty reduction more difficult, further erode food security and “prolong existing and create new poverty traps”.
All in all, bad news.
The question is whether India is prepared to face the climate change challenge and develop resilience. The answer is no.