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India and Global Climate Risk Index

  Jul 04, 2020

India and Global Climate Risk Index

What is climate risk index?

The index analyses the extent to which countries and regions have been affected by the impacts of weather-related loss events (storms, floods, heat waves, cyclones, landslides etc.) It is released by Germanwatch.

What is India’s position in vulnerability to climate risks?

India is the fifth most vulnerable country to climate change, according to report. In the Climate Risk Index 2020, India’s rank has worsened from the 14th spot in 2017 to 5th in 2018 in the global vulnerability ladder.

Why is India so vulnerable to Climate risks?

India has recorded the highest number of fatalities due to climate change and the second highest monetary losses from its impact in 2018. India’s high rank is due to severe rainfalls, followed by heavy flooding and landslide that killed over 1000 people. The floods were described as the worst of the last 100 years. Furthermore, India was struck by two cyclones in October and November 2018 that also nearly killed 1,000 people. Last but not least, India also suffered from extreme heat. While human death toll was kept considerably low due to public measures, the economic damages were quite severe.

Emerging Disaster issues

  1. Cyclones: Frequency of severe cyclones has increased from 1/year to 3/year. Arabian sea becoming more cyclone prone than earlier as its sea surface temperature is rising. Extent of cyclones also increased from Gujarat to Kerala coast.
  2. Extreme rainfall events are increasing like cloud bursts
  3. Extreme rainfalls are causing flash floods and landslides
  4. Heat waves intensifying each year due to global warming

Government on extreme weather events in parliament in 2019

India experienced 431 major natural disasters during the period 1980-2010, resulting in loss of human lives, property and resources. However, any direct attribution to climate change has not been indicated. As per information received from the ministry of home affairs, 2,405 lives have been reported to be lost during the financial year 2018-19 in the country due to cyclonic storms/flash floods/landslides/cloudbursts etc.

What are key takeaways and way forward?

Poor countries had to face much higher impacts: Of the ten most affected countries and territories in the period 1999-2018, seven were developing countries in the low income or lower-middle income country group.

Way forward 

Financing of loss and damages of poor countries by developed countries under Warsaw International Mechanism for loss and damage

Steps taken by India

  1. NAPCC provides the overarching framework for all climate actions
  2. INDC, Indian contribution towards climate change goals
  3. National action plan on disaster risk reduction 
  4. India cooling action plan
  5. National Cyclone Risk Mitigation Project specifically for cyclones

About Germanwatch

Germanwatch an independent non-profit, non-governmental development and environmental organization which works for sustainable global development.