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Climate vulnerability index released by CEEW

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    8th Nov, 2021

Context

Environmental think tank Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) has carried a first-of-its-kind district-level climate vulnerability assessment, or Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI).

What is Climate Vulnerability Index?

  • In the Index, CEEW has analyzed 640 districts in India to assess their vulnerability to extreme weather events such as cyclones, floods, heatwaves, droughts, etc.
  • The CVI maps:
    • exposure (that is whether the district is prone to extreme weather events)
    • sensitivity (the likelihood of an impact on the district by the weather event)
    • adaptive capacity (what the response or coping mechanism of the district is)
  • It helps map critical vulnerabilities and plan strategies to enhance resilience and adapt by climate-proofing communities, economies and infrastructure.
  • Instead of looking at climate extremes in isolation, the study looks at the combined risk of hydro-met disasters, which is floods, cyclones and droughts, and their impact.
  • The study does not take into consideration other natural disasters such as earthquakes.

Key-highlights of the Index

  • Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Bihar are most vulnerable to extreme climate events such as floods, droughts and cyclones in India.
  • While 27 Indian states and union territories are vulnerable to extreme climate events, 463 districts out of 640 are vulnerable to extreme weather events.
  • Dhemaji and Nagaon in Assam, Khammam in Telangana, Gajapati in Odisha, Vizianagaramin Andhra Pradesh, Sangli in Maharashtra, and Chennai in Tamil Nadu are among India’s most climate-vulnerable districts
  • More than 80 per cent of Indians live in districts vulnerable to climate risks – that is 17 of 20 people in India are vulnerable to climate risks, out of which every five Indians live in extremely vulnerable areas
  • More than 45 per cent of these districts have undergone “unsustainable landscape and infrastructure changes’’.
  • 183 hotspot districts are highly vulnerable to more than one extreme climate events
  • 60% of Indian districts have medium to low adaptive capacity in handing extreme weather events – these districts don’t have robust plans in place to mitigate impact
  • North-eastern states are more vulnerable to floods
  • South and central are most vulnerable to extreme droughts
  • 59 and 41 per cent of the total districts in the eastern and western states, respectively, are highly vulnerable to extreme cyclones.
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