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9 Indian states among top vulnerable places in the world: Report

  • Published
    21st Feb, 2023
Context

According to a recent ranking, the vast majority (80%) of 50 provinces facing the highest climate risk to their physical infrastructure by 2050 are in China, the US, and India.

About

The Report

  • Report: 2023 Gross Domestic ClimateRisk report
  • Released by: Cross Dependency Initiative (XDI)
  • The report calculated the physical climate risk to the built environment in over 2,600 states and provinces worldwide in 2050.

Key highlights of the Report

  • Asia dominated the list with 114 among the top 200 regions falling here. 
    • China had the highest number of regions, followed by India and the United States of America (USA).
    • India has nine states in the 50 high-risk states; China, has 26, and the US, has five.

What does it say about India?

  • Most Vulnerable: In India, Punjab, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Kerala and Assam are the most vulnerable.
    • The ranking indicates underlining that India’s commercial capital, Mumbai is at high risk. 
  • Extreme event hotspots: Currently, with a 0.8 degrees rise in temperature, India’s 27 states and more than three-quarters of its districts are extreme event hotspots accounting for a 5 per cent loss in GDP. 
  • Economic loss: If global warming is not limited to 2-degree thresholds, climate-vulnerable states like Assam, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh, among others, will lose more than 10 per cent of their gross state domestic product (GSDP).
  • The Gross Domestic Climate Risk ranking reflects the physical risk to the built infrastructure from eight climate change hazards: riverine and surface flooding, coastal inundation (coastal flooding), extreme heat, forest fire, soil movement (drought-related), extreme wind and freeze-thaw. 

Concern for India

The Himalayas in the north, coastal areas in the south and the semi-arid region in central India — no part and sector of the country is spared.

  • Exposure to sea: India has one of the highest populations exposed to rising sea levels. 
  • Alarming urbanisation: In the next 15 years, 600 million Indians will be living in cities, which makes improving their adaptive capacities more urgent.
  • Hit on agriculture: In the agrarian economy, crop production is to be hit severely with rising cases of heat waves, drought, floods
  • Disease spread: Health hazards, especially communicable diseases, instances of widespread flu to increase

Suggestive Measures

  • Climate-oriented activities: India needs to integrate climate adaptation into its development by investing in
    • climate-smart agriculture
    • blue-green infrastructure (the infrastructure that capitalises on the benefits of working with green spaces and naturalised water flows)

Government Initiative to deal with climate change

  • International Solar Alliance (ISA): A solar power development project in collaboration with France. Launched in 2015, it’s an alliance of the “sunshine countries” with an objective of efficient utilization of solar energy. The alliance was formed with the vision of reducing the dependence on non-renewable sources of energy like fossil fuels.
  • One sun, one world, one grid project along with the United Kingdom: OSOWOG is based on the vision of building and scaling inter-regional energy grids to share solar energy across the globe. It can be the solution to most of our global problems in the energy sector.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission: The all-encompassing programme emphasized cleaning India and its cities and villages by providing toilets for every household.
  • COP26 Glasgow summit: The biggest and most important move by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on behalf of India committed;
    • To take India’s non-fossil fuel energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030.
    • To bring down the carbon intensity of India by more than 45% by 2030.
    • India will achieve the target of net zero carbon emissions by 2070.
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