• The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) announced that global temperatures are likely to surge to record levels in the next five years, fuelled by heat-trapping greenhouse gases (GHGs) and an El-Niño event.

The WMO warned that the economic cost of extreme weather, climate and water-related events has been rising.

What is the evidence of Climate Change in India?

  • Constantly rising temperature
    • Annual average temperature in India has been increasing gradually.
    • RBI’s latest report on currency and finance states that the rise has been significantly sharper during the last 20 years than during any other 20-year time interval since 1901.
  • Erratic Monsoon
    • The south west monsoon is more erratic.
    • While the average annual rainfall at the all-India level during 2000-2020 saw a rise over that during 1960-1999, annual average rainfall in India has gradually declined.
  • Frequent Dry and Wet Spells:

RBI’s research suggests that while dry spells have become more frequent during the last several years, intense wet spells have also increased.

  • Frequent Floods and Storms
    • Research about natural disasters since 1975 has shown that India is relatively more exposed to floods and storms (cyclones and hailstorms) than droughts and heatwaves.
    • “Such incidences pose significant risks to agricultural production and food price volatility,” states the RBI.

The Global Climate Risk Index 2021 had ranked India 7th in the list of most affected countries in terms of exposure and vulnerability to climate risk events.

The Economic impact on India:

Now, the majority of our economic output comes from the services sector, which is considered as an ‘emission light’ sector, hence the emission intensity of the overall Indian economy is under control. But globally, India is the third highest emitter, preceded by China & USA.

Following can be considered as the impact on the Indian economy:

  • Can affect supply and Demand: Climate change can adversely impact both the supply side as well as the demand side. It can stroke inflation, reduce economic output, trigger uncertainty and change consumer behaviour.

          For example, heatwaves (induced by climate change) in 2021 impacted wheat productivity. This loss in productivity led to less supply of wheat, thereby bringing in inflation.

  • Employment Loss: In 2020, the World Bank said that India could account for 34 million of the projected 80 million global job losses from heat stress-associated productivity decline by2030.
  • Coastal floods due to Sea Level Rise
    • In 2022, the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) stated that India is one of the most vulnerable countries globally in terms of the population that would be affected by the sea level rise.
    • By the middle of the present century, around 35 million people in India could face annual coastal flooding, with 45-50 million at risk by the end of the century.


1. National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC): It was launched in 2008. It established eight National Missions, covering several initiatives and a slew of measures.


2. India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs):

India submitted its first set of INDCs in 2015 and updated them in 2021.

  • The 2015 INDCs:

India’s first pledge had 3 primary targets.

  • The first was to reduce emissions intensity of the economy (emission per unit of GDP) by 33-35% below 2005 levels.
  • The second was to have 40% of installed electric power from non-fossil-based energy resources by 2030.
  • The third target was to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5-3 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) by 2030 through additional forest and tree cover.

According to the Paris Agreement, countries must ‘update’ their pledges every five years to make larger commitments to reduce GHG emissions.

  • The 2021 INDCs(Panchamrit):

India at the COP26 to the UNFCCC held in Glasgow, UK in 2021, expressed to intensify its climate action by presenting a 5-set of new targets (Panchamrit) of India’s climate action.

These were –

  • India will increase its non-fossil fuel energy capacity to 500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. (Presently it is around 167 GW)
  • It will meet 50% of its energy requirements from renewable sources by 2030.
  • The total projected carbon emissions will be reduced by 1 billion tonnes from now through 2030.
  • The carbon intensity of its economy will be brought down to less than 45%.
  • India will achieve its target of net zero by 2070.

India may hit the peak of emissions by 2040-2045. India is taking adequate steps in the right direction. For instance, India’s Nation Green Hydrogen Mission, if successful, may be a game changer not only for India, but the entire world. The intent & zeal should not languish in the midst as Climate Change is a big & serious concern, and to tackle it, a long ‘battle’ has to be fought. Winning is the only option.