India most vulnerable to climate crisis: Report
India is facing the triple challenge of ensuring a successful recovery from Covid-19, pushing forward on its long-term vision for equitable development, and addressing the threats posed by climate change, a report released by the World Resources Institute (WRI) highlighted on Tuesday.
In the session, ‘Mainstreaming Climate Action in Indian Cities’, which was part of Connect Karo, WRI’s annual flagship event, which highlights ways to make Indian cities inclusive, sustainable and climate forward, experts highlighted that India was one of the countries most vulnerable to extreme climate events in the coming years, and the pandemic had only made efforts to avert this possibility more challenging.
“The language of climate action has to be the language of the cities,” said Hitesh Vaidya, director, National Institute of Urban Affairs.
During the session, WRI released a report titled, ‘Seizing the Urban Opportunity’, where experts highlighted how national governments can recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, secure shared prosperity, and also tackle the climate crisis.
“Climate change is an impediment to future growth and we need to take collective responsibility for it. For India, this will be an even bigger challenge because 22 out of the 30 most polluted cities in the world are here. The governments need to work on climate-resilient cities,” said Daniel Bradley, team leader (low carbon growth), British High Commission.
The report highlighted the challenges that six emerging economies, including China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa face in managing the climate crisis. The report said that these six countries accounted for one-third of the global GDP, but also 41% of carbon dioxide emissions (from fossil fuel use) and 42% of the world’s urban population.
“The pandemic has wrought havoc on the global economy, with particularly severe impacts on the poor. It has also highlighted the urgency of building resilience to a wide range of shocks, especially the growing impacts of climate change,” the report read.