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India needs to invest urgently in climate action

India needs to invest urgently in climate action

The government should engage with sector experts and increase participation of leading organisations in the field of climate finance

The phrase ‘new normal’ has become very popular in 2020. Often, one will hear it in the context of life during the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. However, its usage is not exclusive to the pandemic. Climate disasters, especially in India, also form part of a new normal.

India continues to suffer the brunt of climate disasters like drought, floods, heatwaves, crop failures, landslides, tropical storms, and cyclones in 2020. It was not shocking when Germanwatch, an environmental non-profit think tank, reported in 2018, that India was the fifth most affected country by climate change, globally.

In the last two years, the country has been hit by at least one extreme climate event every month. According to the World Risk Index 2020, India is the fourth-most-at-risk country in South Asia, after Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan. There is no doubt that climate change is real and its implications are disastrous.

Historically, internal migration in India occurred due to factors like ethnicity, kinship, work opportunities, or access to better healthcare and education. More recently, climate disasters also contribute to displacement (involuntary and unplanned) and migration (voluntary and planned) in India. In 2018 alone, nearly 2.7 million Indians were either displaced or have migrated due to climate-induced distress.

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