Farmers have been dependent on seasonal rains for cultivation for many generations. Nearly 40% of the nation's total food production comes from rainfed agriculture, which takes up about 51% of the net sown area (DoA, GoI). Rainfed agriculture is complex, highly diverse and risk prone. With threat of climate change looming large, the monsoon period and rainfall intensity have become erratic, resulting into woes of farmers, including fluctuations in crop production. As per the data released by the Ministry of Agriculture, potato production in the current year is estimated to be decline to 53.60 mt from 56.17 mt last year. Major crops, including potatoes, were severely affected due to the unseasonal rainfall in November-December in 2021. The countrywide heatwave this year has also affected potato production. In May 2022, the decision to ban wheat exports came into effect amidst the Russia-Ukraine war to manage domestic wheat prices as the crops were affected this year.
Nations across the globe are continuously facing economic and social risks due to climate change. Extreme weather events, as a consequence of climate change, have led to 495,000 human deaths in the world from 1999 to 2018. In the year 2017, around seven million people, because of extreme climate events, were forced to be displaced in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. It cannot be denied that there has been an exponential rise in the frequency and intensity of extreme events in India. India was ranked fifth most vulnerable nation globally in the South Asian ranking during COP (Conference of Parties) 25.
At the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) in November 2021, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a slew of targets that drew global attention and applause. The ambitious and bold targets sent a message: India is serious about taking climate action and limiting the rising global temperatures. As almost a year has passed since then, it is only apt to discuss whether India has identified challenges and opportunities in achieving those targets, which were presented as ‘five elixirs’ or panchamrit for limiting rising temperatures.
Climate change is characterized by an increment in the mean temperature as well as increase in the variability around the means that cause extreme events such as changing monsoon patterns which lead to cyclones, floods and drought.
Conflict, in the context of social groups, is what we refer to as an aggressive encounter between groups of people that see agreement (or disagreement) on political ideology (or interests) brought on by the exploitation of natural resources, sectarian tensions, and external intervention. Conflict zones are basically areas where conflict is dominant and has an adverse effect on human lives. It can range from a region, an area within a country to an area covering the national boundary of two or more countries. Marginalized communities are groups and communities that face discrimination and exclusion due to unequal power relations across social, economic, and political dimensions. They have often been historically deprived of basic human rights to resources and opportunities. Many indigenous communities across the world have been classified as marginalized because of the effects of colonialism on them such as the Native Americans, the Australian Aboriginals, the Indian Santhal, and Munda tribes, etc.
As the changing climate is gripping the world, countries and institutions are rushing to help people adapt to it and mitigate the damages done because of it. Like any other disaster, it has also brought to the world’s attention the inequalities among countries in various ways, some are better placed for a renewable energy transition while others are still developing their economy with fossil fuels, some are protected against rising sea levels and others are losing land every year.
The Indian urban population rose from 17.9% in 1960 to around 34.9% in 2020. The population size in Bengaluru during the same period increased by more than ten folds. Different agencies estimate that by 2030, Bengaluru will be home to 15-20 million people.
At the COP26, the Indian prime minister announced– somewhat surprisingly– that India will go carbon neutral by the year 2070. The deadline is about two decades longer than most countries’ 2050 deadline and China’s 2060 deadline. It was a surprising move, because India was reluctant to put a date on its carbon neutral journey, unlike other developed countries, primarily because the Indian economy is still growing and so is its carbon emission.
United Nations Framework Convention on climate change (UNFCCC) defined climate finance as “local, national or translational financing- drawn from public, private and alternative source of financing – that seeks to support mitigation and adaptation actions that will address climate change.”
Climate researchers and scientists worldwide have warned that the ongoing human-induced activities worsening climate change are pushing the entire planet toward doomsday. The consequences that the planet is witnessing in the form of climate disasters such as floods, tsunamis, wildfires, avalanches, and landslides are just the beginning. But, there must be an adequate system and stringent policies in place to minimize the loss these disasters can have on each sector of the economy. The Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of UNDR Mami Mizutori highlighted a similar approach and said, “Disasters can be prevented, but only if countries invest the time and resources to understand and reduce their risks”.