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Climate Vulnerability Index 2021 – CEEW

Climate Vulnerability Index:

A report titled “Mapping India’s Climate Vulnerability – A District-level Assessment” has been released by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) (not-for-profit policy research institution).

  • The report has also launched the first-of-its-kind Climate Vulnerability Index.
  • The index has analysed 640 districts in India and found that 463 of these are vulnerable to extreme floods, droughts and cyclones.
  • Affected States: 27 Indian states and Union territories are vulnerable to extreme climate events which often disrupt the local economy and displace weaker communities.
  • The states of Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Bihar are the most vulnerable to extreme climate events such as floods, droughts and cyclones in India.
  • Magnitude of Impact of Climate Change: More than 80% of Indians live in districts vulnerable to climate risks.
  • 17 of 20 people in the country are vulnerable to climate risks, out of which every five Indians live in areas that are extremely vulnerable.
  • More than 45% of these districts have undergone “unsustainable landscape and infrastructure changes”.
  • Low-level of Adaptability: More than 60% of Indian districts have medium to low adaptive capacity in handling extreme weather events.
  • Role of Anthropogenic Activities: The anthropogenic activity has already made vulnerable districts become even more vulnerable to impacts of natural disasters. Some of the activities has led to:
  • Loss of wetlands and loss in mangroves which would act as a natural barrier, making it more vulnerable.
  • Landscape disruptions such as the disappearance of forest cover, over-construction, have led to degradation of natural ecosystems.
    Triggering Financial Crisis: Combating the rising frequency and scale of extreme climate events is fiscally draining for developing countries such as India.
  • Investments in infrastructure such as housing, transport, and industries will be threatened by these events, especially along the coasts, adding that mounting weather-related insurance losses could trigger the next financial crisis.