India’s Climate Change Woes

DSC_2934_gavel-tnWhile the 21st Convention of Parties of the UNFCCC at Paris is witnessing heated debates and discussions over various measures to tackle the climate change adversities, here in India, Chennai is grappling with devastation brought by the floods. The situation is not much different in other parts of the world  too, where natural disasters are striking in the form of drought, cyclones and storms.

One thing that all these catastrophes reaffirms is that, climate change is real and its impacts really big to capture the attention of the global policy makers. And for India, with its dream of making it big in the world economy through an all encompassing development, these changes should be tempting enough to adapt climate resilient techniques in all walks of life.

Floods in Chennai and Mumbai, cyclones along the eastern coast, hailstorms and erratic rainfalls in the Central and North Western regions, landslides and earthquakes in the Himalayan regions, have shown that no specific part of India is free from facing the brunt of climate change. These disasters are pushing the socio- economic and political limits of states, deeply hampering the commitments towards eradicating poverty, malnutrition and inequality.

According to studies based on IMD data,India has experienced substantial changes in mean and extreme climate during the period of 1951- 2013. Nights are becoming more hot, along with an increase in day temperature. Monsoon has been erratic in the country since the last decade.

In this backdrop, it is imperative for India to take a fresh view of various adaptation and mitigation methods on scientific basis. Funding and technology devolution should be given prime importance in coordinating the policies and making the approach a comprehensive one. The Paris summit is a great opportunity for India to makes its position clear.

However, on the domestic front too, we need to examine the loopholes in climate fighting policies and their implementation. It is disappointing to note that, we seldom learn from the earlier Kashmir flood or cyclone that hit the Andhra coast. Civic Amenities are still  not up to date for immediate responses in case of a disaster. It is high time that we learn the lessons and strive for improving our disaster management facilities.