Climate Vulnerability Index: Above 80% of Indians Live in Climate Risk Districts

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admin November 10, 2021
Updated 2021/11/11 at 5:03 PM

According to the Climate Vulnerability Index released by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) on Monday, more than 80% of Indians live in climate-vulnerable districts, with Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Bihar being the states most vulnerable to extreme climate events such as floods, droughts, and cyclones. According to the survey, Assam’s Dhemaji and Nagaon, Tamil Nadu’s Chennai, Telangana’s Khammam, Odisha’s Gajapati, Andhra Pradesh’s Vizianagaram, and Maharashtra’s Sangli are among India’s most climate-risk districts. Overall, 27 Indian states and union territories are susceptible to severe weather events, which often affect local economies and relocate vulnerable populations, according to the report.

The India Climate Collaborative and the Edelgive Foundation backed the research, which found that 463 of India’s 640 districts are susceptible to catastrophic floods, droughts, and cyclones. Over half of these areas have seen unsustainable landscapes and infrastructural alterations. Additionally, 183 hotspot districts are very susceptible to several catastrophic climatic events. According to the CEEW report, more than 60% of Indian districts have medium to poor adaptation ability.

According to the CEEW research, states in the northeast are more prone to floods, while those in the south and center are more vulnerable to harsh droughts. Furthermore, severe cyclones threaten 59 and 41% of the total districts in the eastern and western states, respectively.

A District Disaster Management Plan is present in just 63% of Indian districts (DDMP). “Despite the fact that these plans must be updated every year, just 32% of them have updated plans until 2019.” States like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Karnataka, and Gujarat, which are more susceptible, have upgraded their DDMPs and climate-proofed vital infrastructure in recent years,” it added.

“The frequency and severity of severe climatic events in India have grown by about 200 percent since 2005,” said Abinash Mohanty, programme head at CEEW and main author of the research. To make successful risk-informed choices, our legislators, business leaders, and residents must apply district-level analyses. To coordinate the environmental de-risking objective, India needs to establish a new Climate Risk Commission.”

Restoration of climate-sensitive landscapes, according to the CEEW research, will function as natural shock absorbers against severe climatic events. In addition, integrating climate risk profiles with infrastructure planning is critical for ensuring the protection of current and new infrastructure investments. The results are significant because, according to Germanwatch’s Climate Risk Index, India is the world’s fifth-most susceptible nation. The CEEW research is the first to examine India’s districts’ susceptibility to severe climatic events.

“Combating the increased frequency and magnitude of catastrophic climatic events is financially taxing for developing nations like India,” said Arunabha Ghosh, chief executive officer of CEEW. Developed nations must reclaim confidence at COP-26 by delivering the $100 billion pledged since 2009 and committing to increasing climate funding over the next decade. In addition, India must work with other nations to establish a Global Resilience Reserve Fund, which may function as a kind of insurance against climate shocks.”

 

Source: Business Standard

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