• Sanskriti IAS - अखिल मूर्ति के निर्देशन में

Climate change narrative

  • 24th September, 2021

(Mains GS 3 : Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.)

Context:

  •  A recent report released by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) named as “Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region” revealed that India has warmed up 0.7° C during 1901-2018. 

Increasing temperature:

  • The 2010-2019 decade was the hottest showing an increase in mean temperature of 0.36° C higher than average.
  • Assessment by the MoES shows that India may experience a 4.4° C rise by the end of this century.
  • Greenhouse gas emission steadily increases despite lower activities during covid times.
  • Prolonged heat waves are becoming detrimental to public health and becoming life threatening.

Rise in extreme events:

  • In the last decade, India has witnessed some very severe climate events which hamper growth and cause mass destruction of life and property.
  • Super-cyclone “Cyclone Amphan” that hit India in 2020 was cost more than USD13 billion. 
  • Country also witnessed severe flooding during “June-October Monsoon Flooding” that cost USD10 billion and around 1,600 lives. 
  • This June-October Monsoon Flooding was India’s heaviest monsoon rain in the last 25 years and the world’s seventh costliest. 
  • India also suffered from two more cyclones in 2021 named Cyclone Tauktae hitting the west coast and Cyclone Yaas from the east.

Increasing displacement:

  • According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, India’s Internally Displaced Populations (IDPs) are increasing due to damaging climate events. 
  • Kedarnath floods and rising precipitation every year leads to deserting homes by people in Uttarakhand.
  • Reports suggested that upto 2050, rainfall is expected to rise by 6% and temperature by 1.6° C.
  • Further coastal erosion due to climate change induced sea-level rise, land erosion and natural disasters such as tropical cyclones between 1990-2016 increase problem manifold 
  • Figures expected to be increased upto 3.6 million out of 170 million living in coastal areas were displaced between 2008-2018. 

Droughts in deccan plateau:

  • India’s Deccan plateau has seen severe droughts which lead to families deserting homes from Maharashtra and Karnataka (the heart of the Deccan Plateau) due to acute water crisis.
  • Case study: Hatkarwadi village in Beed district of Maharashtra State had only 10-15 families remaining where previous population count of 2,000 people.

India's engagement:

  • India ranked at 10th position in the global Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2021 released in Germany recently.
  • This is the second year in a row that India has remained in the top 10 position in the list of countries to have adopted substantial measures to mitigate climate change.
  • India worked with COP21 by signing the Paris Agreement to limit global warming.
  • India submitted its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) with a goal of reducing emissions intensity of GDP by 33%-35% and increasing green energy resources (non-fossil-oil based) to 40% of installed electric power capacity by 2030.
  • In 2015, India along with France formed the International Solar Alliance (ISA) which is a coalition of about 120 countries with solar rich resources.
  • ISA  aims at mobilising USD1 trillion in investments for the deployment of solar energy at affordable prices by 2030.
  • These global alliances and leading policies seem to be merely big promises with little implementation.

 Achieving targets:

  • Experts view that India is not fully compliant with the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal of the NDCs.
  • According to India’s carbon emission trajectory, the country is en route to achieve barely half of the pledged carbon sink by 2030.
  • Thus to achieve the Paris Agreement’s NDC target, India is required to produce 25 million-30 million hectares of forest cover by 2030.

The utility of COP26:

  • The Glasgow COP26 offers India a great opportunity to reflect on the years since the Paris Agreement and update NDCs to successfully meet the set targets.
  • India is expected to be the most populated country by 2027, overtaking China, contributing significantly to the global climate through its consumption pattern.
  • India is in a unique position to have a significant influence on global climate impact in the new decade.

 Conclusion:

  • India believes that climate actions must be nationally determined with having  UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement at the core of decision-making.
  • By leading in climate goals, India will not only save itself from further climate disasters but also be a leader in the path to climate change prevention.
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