India had little role in global warming over the last century but it faces high risk of climate change’s impact in the form of heat waves and cyclones, said Indian scientists who were part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
India is the centre of global climate investment but it needs to distribute finances equally to adaptation along with mitigation efforts in the clean energy space. “Funding from rich nations should not be the only source of climate finance and India should look at a variety of climate funding options,” they said in an interaction.
Aditi Mukherjee, who works the Climate Change Impact Platform, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), joint Nobel Peace Prize awardee Prof Joyashree Roy, Energy Economic programme, Asian Institute of Technology, and Dipak Dasgupta of TERI were part of the session.
“Accelerate finance support from developing countries along with other sources will help adaptation and mitigation action in the developing countries,” said Roy, who chaired the adaptation working group of IPCC’s assessment report (AR6).
The group said the money for climate finance should not only be in the form of loans but also grants, bonds, equity, and financial guarantee. “Adaptation finance should come as a grant rather than debts and loans,” said Mukherjee.
Fossil fuels, unequal and unsustainable energy and land use have led to global warming of 1.1°C above pre -industrial levels. This has resulted in more frequent and more intense extreme weather events.
India would face extreme heat and water crisis, and needs to plan its energy transition accordingly. “Urban level distribution of redistributive policies has to be the focus,” Dasgupta said.
India can decarbonise the energy sector by reducing demand for fuels and having infrastructure that allows space for cyclists, pedestrians, and public transport. “We have to shift the development measures to sustainable development measures,” Roy said.
Every increment of warming results in rapidly escalating hazards. More intense heat waves, heavier rainfall and other weather extremes further increase risks for human health and ecosystems. Climate -driven food and water insecurity is expected to increase with increased warming. When the risks combine with other adverse events, such as pandemics or conflicts, they become even more difficult to manage.
Even India’s per capita carbon emission is less and has historically much lesser responsibility but India is at the forefront of impacts. “Now, everyone has to take action based on their national context and circumstances,” Mukherjee highlighted.
The scientists warned that the target of not letting the planet’s temperature to exceed 1.5 degree Celsius will not be achieved unless the world ramps up adaptation that it requires.