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.