New Delhi (1 December 2015) – India would need over USD 1 trillion from now until 2030 to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change according to an independent joint study released today by IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Gandhinagar and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW). The study identifies India’s preliminary financial, technology, and knowledge gaps in adaptation, as well as capacity building and institutional needs.
Climate change adaptation is a key component of the climate negotiations currently ongoing in Paris where 196 countries are negotiating a new pact to tackle climate change and keep global temperature rise in check, below 2°C by the end of the century.
The study conducted by Prof. Amit Garg (IIM Ahmedabad), Prof. Vimal Mishra (IIT Gandhinagar) and Dr. Hem Dholakia (CEEW) estimates that as many as 800 million people living across nearly 450 districts in India are currently experiencing significant increases in annual mean temperature going beyond the 2°C warming pathway. As per the study, India as a whole, will experience 1-1.5°C increase in mean annual air temperature in the near term from 2016 to 2045, which could have profound implications for agriculture and crop production. These effects could be further pronounced given the estimated increase in extreme precipitation events, resulting in flooding and significant damage to infrastructure.
Given these risks of climate change, the study reveals that total government spending on developing capacity and adaptation in India has grown consistently over the last decade and a mammoth USD 91.8 billion was spent on adaptation in 2013-14 alone. This spending would have to reach USD 360 billion (in 2005 prices) by 2030. The loss and damage from extreme events were estimated additionally at USD 5-6 billion per annum.
Recognising the importance of the study, Mr Ashok Lavasa, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, said, “Supporting and enhancing the sustainable development of 1.25 billion people is at the heart of India’s adaptation gap filling strategy. The fruits of development should not be lost due to increasing adaptation gap in the future.”
India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) submitted in early October reiterated the need for better climate change adaptation by enhancing investments in development programmes in sectors vulnerable to climate change, particularly agriculture, water resources, Himalayan region, coastal regions, health and disaster management.
Read: India Adaptation Gap Study