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Feeling the Heat: The IPCC Report

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March 09, 2022

Why in news?

The latest IPCC report predicts terrible effects of global warming on India which is a wake-up call to take urgent actions.

What are the IPCC reports?

  • The objective of the IPCC is to provide governments at all levels with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies.
  • It was created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • The Assessment Reports, the first of which had come out in 1990, are the most comprehensive evaluations of the state of the earth’s climate.
  • The latest warnings have come in the second part of IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report which talks about climate change impacts, risks and vulnerabilities, and adaptation options.
  • The first part report was released in August last year and centred on the scientific basis of climate change.
  • The third and final part of the report, which will look into the possibilities of reducing emissions, is expected to come out in April.

What does the report predict for India?

  • Crop production-The report identifies India as among the most vulnerable in terms of agriculture impact.
  • Coastal flooding- With 7,500 km coastline in India, it renders some 3.5 crore people prone to flooding, cyclones and rising sea levels.
  • Food inflation- The FAO food price index touched a 10-year high in 2021.
  • Economic impact- The cost of dealing with extreme climate events will rise as they become more frequent, having a serious GDP impact.
  • A CEEW study points out that most of the 478 extreme weather events that occurred in India between 1970 and 2019 took place after 2005.

To know more about the warning of the IPCC report, click here

What about the global action on climate change?

  • A global consensus to act is sorely missing, despite the crisis at hand.
  • Despite having the resources, in terms of finance and technologies, to deal with impacts, the industrialized world is hypocritical .
  • The repeated climate pledges on the part of developed countries to transfer 100 billion dollars annually to the less developed countries, has not materialised.
  • The West is morally obliged to do so for being historically responsible for climate change does not cut ice anymore, because China and India have emerged as principal polluters, alongside the US.
  • While China is no longer fighting poverty, India does need some carbon space to raise its millions to a better standard of living.

What efforts have been taken by India?

  • India has an emissions reduction plan in place, powered by an energy shift to renewables.
  • It has committed to
    • increasing its renewables capacity five-fold to 500 GW by 2030
    • getting to ‘net zero’ emissions by 2070
    • spelt out the bill to get 1 trillion dollar

What more is needed?

  • India needs to do some of the adaptation and mitigation by itself, and rely on private capital to do so.
  • India’s electric vehicle and green hydrogen push could reduce fossil fuel reliance considerably.
  • An ecosystem that is based on self-reliance in these sectors will help at a time when tech transfer is scarce and protectionism is on the rise.
  • India needs to create more funds for adaptation such as Ahmedabad model of heat-proofing buildings.
  • India’s emphasis on increasing and protecting carbon sinks such as mangroves seems less, going by funds allocated.

 

Reference

  1. https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/editorial/feeling-the-heat/article65204745.ece

 

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