'Govt supporting programmes to tackle climate change'

Govt supporting several programmes to tackle climate change: DST official

The DST official underlined that journalists can play a crucial role in making people understanding climate change which is critical to combat the problem

Representative image. Credit: iStock photo

The government is supporting several programmes to tackle climate change, senior Department of Science and Technology (DST) official Akhilesh Gupta said on Wednesday during an online interaction with several young journalists from Manipur.

He was speaking at a programme for 'Young State-Level Media Fellows on Climate Change Reporting' organised by the Manipur government.

Gupta, who is senior advisor and head of the policy coordinator and programme management division in the DST, said developed countries are the root cause for the climate change problem.

He said India is the worst affected and has supported several programmes to tackle the problem.

The DST started the climate change programme in 2009-2010, and "we have come a long way supporting more than 200 programmes in the area", Gupta said.

Read | Climate change: In Glasgow, India should take the lead

He referred to the recent intergovernmental panel on climate change report which talks about its grave consequences.

Gupta cautioned that if corrective steps are not taken, all warnings will come true in the next two decades.

Citing the major takeaway from the report, he informed that temperature is going to increase by 1.5 degrees centigrade.

This, Gupta said, would lead to increase in heat waves, erratic monsoons, drought and floods.

He added that the Indian Ocean will witness a rise in its level and the rate of increase of sea level has already enhanced in the last two decades.

Gupta pointed out that there will be an increase in the number of cyclones too.

Besides, an increase in carbon dioxide in the ocean and increased temperature will cause myriad problems, he said.

The DST official underlined that journalists can play a crucial role in making people understanding climate change which is critical to combat the problem.

They can play a very important role in highlighting it at the local level because the global challenge has local impacts and hence, requires action at the local level, Gupta said.

"We have done a district-wise and sub-district wise vulnerability assessment for all the states and UTs in the Himalayan region and district-wise assessments for the rest of the country. All the nine districts of Manipur have been found to be vulnerable," he said.

Given such warnings, future planning should be done with a synergy between development and climate, and the media has a huge role to play to bring about such a change in mindset. Trained media fellows could help orient this direction, he added.

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