Published On: Sat, Oct 27th, 2018

Why The World Along With India Needs To Worry About Climate Change

A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned of disastrous consequences if current trends of global warming are not reversed immediately. Aayushi Awasthy from the University of East Anglia’s Energy and Resources Institute explains why this has particular consequences for India and South Asia.

Some Indian and other countries cities often record temperatures approaching nearly 50C

Some Indian and other countries cities often record temperatures approaching nearly 50C

The IPCC report, which was released earlier this month, has been called the most extensive warning yet on the risks of rising global temperatures.

The report says that the impact of a 1.5C increase in global temperatures will “disproportionately affect disadvantaged and vulnerable populations through food insecurity, higher food prices, income losses, lost livelihood opportunities, adverse health impacts, and population displacements”.

India stands to be one of the nations most significantly affected, given its huge population and levels of inequality and poverty.

If exposed to the kind of destabilisation the report talks about, the impact on India could be devastating – not just socially but also politically.

For one, sea level rise will have a disastrous impact on the country, given its large coastline, and the number of people who live close to and depend on the sea for their livelihoods.

On the other hand, deadly heatwaves – similar to one in 2015 that killed thousands of people in India and Pakistan – could soon become the norm, with the eastern Indian city of Kolkata (Calcutta) and the southern Pakistani city of Karachi likely to be the worst affected.

And while the report says that it is not too late to reverse rising temperatures and minimise some of the harm, it will not be easy to do for countries in South Asia, which are largely developing economies with limited resources.

Image captionHeat and drought have a huge impact on India’s rural populations

The report estimates that investment to limit global warming between 2015 and 2050 could cost nations around $900bn (£694bn).

But this seems to be an underestimate.

When publicly outlining what post-2020 climate actions they intended to take under a new international agreement, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), many countries gave much higher cost estimates.

India said merely achieving its INDC targets would cost it $1tn, while Pakistan has estimated a cost of $40bn.

These figures give a sense of the magnitude of the problem.

It is unclear who will bear these enormous costs. The Green Climate Fund has been woefully missing its deadlines for gathering funds.

In its endorsement of the latest IPCC report, India has said it will bear a disproportionate burden of climate change.

This claim is not entirely untrue.

 

Some Indian cities often record temperatures approaching nearly 50C

Some Indian cities often record temperatures approaching nearly 50C

When publicly outlining what post-2020 climate actions they intended to take under a new international agreement, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), many countries gave much higher cost estimates.

India said merely achieving its INDC targets would cost it $1tn, while Pakistan has estimated a cost of $40bn.

These figures give a sense of the magnitude of the problem.

It is unclear who will bear these enormous costs. The Green Climate Fund has been woefully missing its deadlines for gathering funds.

In its endorsement of the latest IPCC report, India has said it will bear a disproportionate burden of climate change.

This claim is not entirely untrue.

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