The non-compliance of India to climate change can cost $9-10 billion annually to its exchequer. The climate change if not addressed now can affect India severely from 2020 to the end of the century.
Although, the projected decrease in the productivity of major crops may not be immediate, but in next few years the costs can rise to 10-40%.
The midyear report submitted by the agriculture ministry to the parliamentary committee, says, “Estimates indicate that currently India incurs losses of about $ 9-10 billion annually due to extreme weather events. Of these, nearly 80% losses remain uninsured”. The report also said that Cyclone Hudhud in 2014 costs $11 billion and floods in Kashmir, the same year, cost $15 billion.
The amount of loss can increase many fold in the future as farm productivity is linked to impact of climate change. Although, extremity of weather is not directly linked to climate change, but the research has indicated frequency of extreme weather conditions and weather related natural calamities increases because of climate change.
The decrease in production of crops, when there is an increasing population and higher food demand may result in the need of imports of food grains. Thus, it is imperative that production of major food crops, oilseeds, pulses and milk be increased with the adaptation of climate change.
In this context, The ICAR-National Institute of Agricultural Economics and Policy Research said, “If the country, which is more or less self-sufficient in food grain production, moves on with the business as usual approach, it will have to suffer a major loss due to rising temperature and uneven distribution of rainfall. If all the losses are compounded, India will be a major victim of climate change.”
By 2030, the demand for the food grain has been projected as 345 million tons, which 30% higher than in 2011. Indian policy makers have to realize that environmental issues are not related to just climate and weather; it is bearer of huge sums of money that the government can ill afford to lose. India will fall behind other emerging powers, if it does not heed to the requirements of climate change.