Climate crisis will have catastrophic impact in India

Climate crisis will have catastrophic impact in India
NEW DELHI: The climate emergency will have catastrophic human and economic consequences in India. Several threats will have a devastating effect, as illustrated by Cyclones Tauktae and Yaas during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A new review by the global think tank ODI. India's Climate Change Costs, released Tuesday, show how rising temperatures will jeopardize India's economic development through a variety of channels, including declining agricultural productivity, public health impacts, reduced labor productivity and rising sea levels.
The study is a first-ever literature review of the economic costs of climate inactivity in India. One degree Celsius of global warming will damage the country. Floods in India over the past decade caused $3 billion in economic damage – accounting for 10 percent of global economic losses from flooding.
The evidence clearly shows that the human and economic costs of climate change will only increase in the coming years, especially without urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A study shows that India's GDP will decline by 90 percent by the year 2100 if the world warms three degrees Celsius.
Angela Picciariello, Senior Research Officer at ODI, said: “India is already feeling the cost of climate change, with many cities reporting temperatures above 48 degrees in 2020 and one billion people experiencing severe water scarcity for at least one month of the year.
"If action is not taken to reduce emissions enough to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the human and economic toll will be even higher."
The total costs of heat waves, floods, water scarcity, cyclones, sea level rise and other climate-related hazards are determined by the direction and level of economic development; the choices made in spatial planning and investments in infrastructure; and the way different dangers intersect.
Amir Bazaz, Senior Lead-Practice at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, said: “As we are now seeing with cyclones Tauktae and Yaas, low-income groups and other marginalized groups are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. often in densely populated settlements without basic facilities and infrastructure that can reduce the risk.
"Many households also live in dangerous locations such as steep slopes and floodplains. It is therefore crucial to bring climate and development goals together."
The study found that India's GDP would be about 25 percent higher today were it not for the current cost of global warming. Looking ahead, the numbers are even grim.
Researchers have assessed several mechanisms through which climate change will affect India's economy, predicting that GDP could be reduced by 10 percent by 2100 at three degrees Celsius of global warming due to declining agricultural productivity, sea level rise and higher health spending.
They say up to 13.4 percent at more than four degrees Celsius global warming is due to declining labor productivity due to temperature and precipitation changes.
Rathin Roy, Managing Director (Research and Policy) at ODI, said: "Pursuing a cleaner, more resource-efficient path to development could drive a faster, fairer economic recovery for India and enhance India's long-term prosperity and competitiveness." can secure.
“Low-carbon options are more efficient, less polluting and deliver immediate benefits such as cleaner air, greater energy security and rapid employment.”
Much depends on India's policies, investments and diplomatic choices over the next decade.
As the only country in the G20 that currently has a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) with 'two degrees Celsius compatible' India is already doing its part for climate mitigation.
However, pursuing a more carbon-efficient and resilient trajectory would allow India to climate-proof its development gains.
Given India's low per capita emissions and lower-middle-income status, it may need international support to make this happen.

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