Climate Change and a case of India

The phenomenon of climate change is not new though the recent shift in the weather patterns has again put more attention to the climate change. According to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, “Climate change refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g. using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties, and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. It refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity”. 

The reason behind climate change is the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) like carbon dioxide, methane, Chlorofluorocarbons, etc. The developing countries will be most hit by the climate change. As per the World Bank classification, India comes in the segment of lower middle-income economies which is a home to 800 million people living in poverty. Due to recent Covid-19 pandemic, 75 million more people in India fell into poverty, a study conducted by Pew Research Center.

The climate change is going to affect India in many ways, some of them are mentioned below: 

1. Natural Assets: It would affect the vegetation, weather patterns, soil, water and availability of other natural resources. 

2. Human: It would affect the labor skills, labor efficiency. For example: countries facing severe heat waves would find it difficult to raise the labor productivity. It would also impact the health of individuals due to spread of new diseases. 

3. Physical: It would impact the physical resources like land, technology for production purpose. Rise in floods or drought would cause the country to lose some part of its productive land. 

4. Social: It would affect the mobilizing capacity, migration of individuals from the areas that are severely affected by climate change.

 5. Financial: The availability of finance, savings will also be affected by climate change.

According to the report of London based think tank Overseas Development Institute (https://odi.org/en/), India may lose 3% to 10% of its GDP annually by 2100 due to climate change and poverty rates may rise by 3.5% in 2040 due to climate change. India is also no longer unaffected due to climate change. We can take the example of Chennai, Tamil Nadu. On 19 June, 2019, the city officials declared “Day zero” that means there is no water left and the reservoirs had run dry”. This happened because of deficient rainfall in 2017 and 2018. If we talk about the case of Chennai in 2021, there are several news in the media that many districts in Chennai have flood like condition due to heavy rainfall in the city. Another example of Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, and the city faces heavy water shortage during the summers due to tourist crowd during summers.

In the wake of climate change and keeping the target of net carbon emission zero by 2070, India has to start taking steps towards sustainable development. This alone cannot be done by the government only, the citizens have to come forward and reduce the carbon footprints. 

By: Mr. Gaurav Bhardwaj,

Assistant Professor

BBA Department

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