A United Nations Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) report released on Monday said that India could witness deadly heat waves if the planet’s temperature goes up by two degrees Celsius.
Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan, reacting to the report today, said that India has already realised the threats posed by climate change.
He said, “We have not been waiting for a report to take action against climate change. We are already putting all our efforts to ensure that the global temperature does not further increase.”
Various adaptation measures such as heat warnings systems, green roofs, reflective roofs, have been identified and implemented at national and sub-national level. In planning and development policies, global warming has been considered. The government seeks improvement in physical social and communication infrastructure all over the country. There is an increasing awareness about global warming in the society.
The report predicts that if climate change continues as projected, people will be at a greater risk of injury, disease and death due to more intense heat waves and fires, rising risks of food and water-borne and vector-borne diseases.
The world will witness greater sea level rise, higher frequency of droughts and floods, and heatwaves and countries like India with large populations dependent on the agricultural and fishery sectors, would be highly impacted.
“At +2°C warming, Karachi (Pakistan) and Kolkata (India) could expect annual conditions equivalent to their deadly 2015 heat waves (medium confidence),” the report said.
Undernutrition from lower food production in poor regions will also contribute to the risk. The report predicts that by 2100, some parts of the world will experience 4-7°C higher temperatures. This raises concerns about habitability of some areas.
Aromar Revi, one of the authors of the report, noted that this will create an opportunity for India to develop sustainable energy industry. “For a country like India, which has yet so much to grow, planning according to under 1.5 degree Celsius is an opportunity as it presents a chance to develop a more sustainable energy industry, agriculture and manage cities.”
A major transformation of society and the world economy in an unprecedented scale is required to avoid the global climate chaos, the IPCC said.