India’s Climate Imperative

Editorial Analysis for IAS - India’s Climate Imperative

India’s Climate Imperative

The current issue

  • The rise in number of climate related calamities such as heatwaves that scorched Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and New Delhi this year; torrential downpours in south India have again shifted the focus towards Climate Change from pandemic.

The warning signs

  • Temperatures over the Indian Ocean have risen by over 1°C since the 1950s, increasing extreme weather events.
  • India is the fourth worst-hit in climate migration.
  • Heat waves in India have claimed an estimated 17,000 lives since the 1970s.
  • Labour losses from rising heat, by one estimate, could reach ₹1.6 lakh crore annually if global warming exceeds 2°C, with India among the hardest hit.

Mitigation Measures

  • Promote agricultural practices which are not water-intensive and to support afforestation which will help control global warming.
  • Financial transfers can be targeted to help farmers plant trees and buy equipment — for example, for drip irrigation that reduces heavy water usage.
  • Insurance schemes can help mitigate some of the risks of extreme heat faced by industrial, construction and agricultural workers to insurers.
  • Climate-resilient agriculture calls for diversification — for example, the cultivation of multiple crops on the same farm.
  • Southern States need stronger guidelines to avoid construction in locations with drainages. It is vital to map flood-risk zones to manage vulnerable regions.
  • Communities can build round-shaped houses, considering optimum aerodynamic orientation to reduce the strength of the winds.
  • Management of dams can exacerbate glacier lake outbursts and floods. Nearly 295 dams in India are more than 100 years old and need repairs.
  • India’s share in disaster management should be raised to 2.5% of GDP.

Measures to reduce global warming

  • Leading emitters, including India, must move away from fossil fuels. But India has made slow progress in choosing 2070 as its target for net zero emissions.
  • A big part of climate action lies in protecting and expanding forest coverage.
  • Enforce Glasgow declaration on forest protection which India has signed.

        Source The Hindu

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