According to the Climate Vulnerability Index released on Monday by the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water (CEEW), more than 80% of Indians live in districts vulnerable to climate risks, with Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Bihar being the states most vulnerable to extreme climate events such as floods, droughts, and cyclones in India. According to the survey, the most climate-sensitive districts in India include Dhemaji and Nagaon in Assam, Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Khammam in Telangana, Gajapati in Odisha, Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh, and Sangli in Maharashtra. According to the report, 27 Indian states and union territories are prone to extreme weather events, which frequently affect the local economy and relocate vulnerable populations.
The study, which was funded by the India Climate Collaborative and the Edelgive Foundation, also revealed that 463 of India’s 640 districts are vulnerable to catastrophic floods, droughts, and cyclones. More than half of these districts have seen unsustainable landscape and infrastructural changes. Furthermore, 183 hotspot regions are extremely vulnerable to several extreme weather events. According to the CEEW report, more than 60% of Indian districts have medium to poor adaptation ability.
According to the CEEW research, states in the North East are more vulnerable to floods, whereas states in the South and Central are most prone to harsh droughts. Furthermore, severe cyclones threaten 59 and 41% of total districts in the eastern and western states, respectively.
Only 63% of Indian districts have a District Disaster Management Plan in place (DDMP). “While these plans must be updated annually, just 32% of them have updated plans until 2019.” States like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Karnataka, and Gujarat, which are more susceptible, have strengthened their respective DDMPs and climate-proofed vital facilities in recent years,” it says.
“The frequency and intensity of extreme climatic events in India have grown by about 200 percent since 2005,” stated Abinash Mohanty, project head, CEEW, and the main author of the study. To make successful risk-informed decisions, our legislators, industry leaders, and residents must apply district-level analyses. To manage the environmental de-risking objective, India must establish a new Climate Risk Commission.”
According to the CEEW study, restoring climate-sensitive landscapes would function as natural shock absorbers against catastrophic climate events. Furthermore, integrating climate risk assessment with infrastructure planning is critical for safeguarding existing and new infrastructure investments. The findings are significant since India is ranked eighth in the world in terms of climate vulnerability, according to Germanwatch’s Climate Risk Index. The CEEW research is the first to examine India’s districts’ susceptibility to extreme weather occurrences.
“Combating the increased frequency and scale of catastrophic climatic events is fiscally taxing for developing nations like India,” said Arunabha Ghosh, chief executive officer of CEEW. At COP-26, rich nations must reestablish confidence by delivering the $100 billion promised since 2009 and committing to increasing climate money over the next decade. In addition, India must work with other nations to establish a Global Resilience Reserve Fund, which might function as insurance against climate shocks.”
Source – Business Standard