India seventh most affected by climate change in 2019 globally: Report
India was the seventh most-affected by the devastating impact of climate change globally in 2019 according to the Global Climate Risk Index 2021 released on Monday.
India was preceded by Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Bahamas, Japan, Malawi and Afghanistan in the list of countries most affected by the impacts of extreme weather events in 2019, the report by Germanwatch, a Bonn-based environmental organisation said.
Between 2000 and 2019, over 475,000 people lost their lives as a direct result of more than 11,000 extreme weather events globally and losses amounted to around US $2.56 trillion (in purchasing power parities).
The report was released just ahead of the Global Adaptation Summit hosted by Netherlands wherein UN secretary general Antonio Guterres is likely to call upon developed countries and donor agencies to increase funding to adaptation measures of developing countries.
In 2019, monsoon continued for a month longer than normal in India. From June to the end of September 2019, 110% of the long-period average was recorded. Flooding caused by heavy rain was responsible for 1,800 deaths across 14 states and led to the displacement of 1.8 million people. Overall, 11.8 million people were affected by the intense monsoon with the economic damage estimated to be US $10 billion. There were eight tropical cyclones in India. Six of the eight cyclones intensified to become “very severe.” Extremely severe cyclone Fani affected 28 million people, killing nearly 90 people in India and Bangladesh, and causing economic losses of US $8.1 billion, the report said.
The Global Climate Risk Index (CRI) analyses quantified impacts of extreme weather events both in terms of the fatalities and economic losses. It doesn’t however consider slow-onset events like rising sea levels, glacier melting or ocean warming and acidification. The index is based on data from the Munich Re NatCatSERVICE. The most recent data available for 2019 and from 2000 to 2019 was taken into account.
Six of the 10 countries most affected from 2000 to 2019 belong to the low to lower-middle income category. Climate impacts affect people in developing countries disproportionately, threatening lives and livelihoods, the report highlighted, adding that international climate financing has remained inadequate. In 2018, a total of US $78.9 billion was provided and mobilised. But the goal to mobilise US $100 billion annually from 2020 onwards, which, in 2009, developed countries agreed to provide for developing countries to finance mitigation and adaptation efforts remains unfulfilled.
“The global Covid-19 pandemic has reiterated the fact that vulnerable countries are exposed to various types of risk—climatic, geophysical, economic and health-related—and that vulnerability is systemic and interconnected,” said Laura Schaefer of Germanwatch. “It is therefore important to address these interconnections. Strengthening the climate resilience of countries is a crucial part of this challenge. The Climate Adaptation Summit offers the opportunity to take an important step in this direction,” she added.
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