Calls to India's Climate Action
The first-of-its-kind report, titled 'Mapping India's Climate Vulnerability or Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI) - A district-level Assessment' carried by environmental think tank council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) and supported by the Indian Climate Collaborative and Edelgive Foundation, has analysed 640 districts across India and has found that 463 of these are vulnerable to extreme floods, droughts and cyclones. Overall, 27 Indian states and UTs are vulnerable to extreme climate events. West Bengal and Kerala despite being coastal states that face iconic activity or floods regularly are at the bottom of the vulnerability list given the efforts this state government took to create the infrastructure to combat extreme weather events according to the study.
The CVI evaluates the vulnerability of human population to extreme climate events and changes in climate over the next 30 years. It combines exposes to climate extremes and change with the current events sensitivity to those climate stressors and the capacity of the country to adapt to the impacts of the climate change. The index provides a single figure rating for climate change exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity helping companies calculate risk from future climate change.
According to German watch’s 2020 findings, India is the seventh-most vulnerable country with respect to climate extremes. Extreme weather events have been increasing in the country. Recent events such as the landslides and floods in Uttarakhand and Kerala, Super cyclone Amphab in the Bay of Bengal. According to the CVI report, 80% Indians live in district vulnerable to climate risks, 45% of these districts have undergone “unsustainable landscape and infrastructure changes". The report further states that "land disruptions" have increased impact of these events. Land disruptions primarily point to anthropogenic activity.
Since different factors are drivers of vulnerability in different states, what is of immense importance in the fight against climate change will depend on the state's fiscal capacity. With loss and damage rising exponentially due to climate crisis, India must demand climate finance for adaptation - based climate actions at the Glasgow Summit. It will be an important factor determining its capacity to respond to the threat posed by climate change.