As the world grapples to find solutions to combat climate change, a new study has found that India would require over USD 1 trillion in the next 15 years to adapt to the adverse impacts of the climate change. Prepared jointly by IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Gandhinagar and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), the study identifies India’s preliminary financial, technology, and knowledge gaps in adaptation, as well as capacity building and institutional needs.
The issue of climate change adaptation is a key component of the global climate summit COP21 in Paris where all countries are negotiating a new deal to combat climate change. The main aim of the summit is to curb global temperature rise below 2 degree celsius by the end of the century. “Given the risks of climate change, the study reveals that total government spending on developing capacity and adaptation in India has grown consistently over the last decade and a mammoth USD 91.8 billion was spent on adaptation in 2013-14 alone. This spending would have to reach USD 360 billion (in 2005 prices) by 2030,” CEEW said in a statement.
It is estimated that loss and damage from adverse climate change stood at an additional USD 5-6 billion per annum, the report added.The study finds that as many as 800 million people living across nearly 450 districts in India are experiencing significant increase in annual mean temperature, which is way more than the 2 degree celsius warming pathway. “India as a whole, will experience 1-1.5 degree celsius increase in mean annual air temperature from 2016 to 2045, which could have profound implications for agriculture and crop production,” the study said.
The effects of these changes could be much more severe, given the estimated increase in extreme precipitation events, resulting in flooding and significant damage to infrastructure, according to the report. In the context of the study, Environment Secretary Ashok Lavasa said: “Supporting and enhancing the sustainable development of 1.25 billion people is at the heart of India’s adaptation gap filling strategy. The fruits of development should not be lost due to increasing adaptation gap in the future.”
Submitting its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC in early October, India reiterated the need for better climate change adaptation by enhancing investments in development programmes in sectors vulnerable to climate change. India particularly emphasised on agriculture, water resources, Himalayan region, coastal regions, health and disaster management.
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