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India will need over Rs 66 lakh crore by 2030 to adapt to climate change, says study

Debjoy Sengupta, ET Bureau Dec 1, 2015, 05.03PM IST


 KOLKATA: India will need over $1 trillion (about Rs 66 lakh crore) till 2030 to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change, according to an independent study conducted by IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Gandhinagar and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).


Climate change adaptation is a key component of the climate negotiations currently on in Paris where 196 countries are negotiating a new pact to tackle climate change and keep global temperature rise below 2°C by the end of the century.


 The study conducted by Amit Garg (IIM Ahmedabad), Vimal Mishra (IIT Gandhinagar) and Hem Dholakia (CEEW) estimates that as many as 800 million people living across nearly 450 districts in India are currently experiencing significant increases in annual mean temperature beyond 2°C warming.


As per the study, India as a whole will experience 1-1.5°C increase in mean annual air temperature in the near term from 2016 to 2045, which could have profound implications for agriculture and crop production. These effects could be further pronounced given the estimated increase in extreme precipitation events, resulting in flooding and significant damage to infrastructure.


Given these risks of climate change, the study reveals that the total government spending on developing capacity and adaptation in India has grown consistently over the past decade and a mammoth $ 91.8 billion was spent on adaptation in 2013-14 alone. This spending will have to reach $360 billion (at 2005 prices) by 2030. The loss and damage from extreme events have been estimated additionally at $ 5-6 billion per annum.


Ashok Lavasa, secretary, ministry of environment, forest and climate change, said in a statement, "Supporting and enhancing the sustainable development of 1.25 billion people is at the heart of India's adaptation gap filling strategy. The fruits of development should not be lost due to increasing adaptation gap in the future."