50m Indians to be hit by rising sea level by 2100: UN

India to be highly impacted by climate change, says CSE

The IPCC report makes it clear that the impact of 1.5 degrees Celsius warming is greater than what was anticipated earlier while the impacts at 2°C are "catastrophic" for the poor and for developing nations like India, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said. DH file photo for representation.

At least 50 million people in India living along the coast will be exposed to sea level rise if global temperatures increase by 1.5°Celsius above today's level by 2100, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in a report on Monday.

The risks are projected to be highest in the south and south-east Asia, assuming that there is no upgrade to present protection levels, for all temperatures of climate warming, the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C has warned.

The report is a result of week-long deliberations at Incheon in South Korea among hundreds of scientists and government officials on the impact of the 1.5°C rise in global temperatures.

It said the sea level rise and other oceanic climate change will result in salinisation, flooding, and erosion and affect human and ecological systems, including health, heritage, freshwater, biodiversity, agriculture, fisheries and other services.

At the UN climate change conference in Paris in 2015, all countries had agreed to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C to 2°C by 2030. However, the report says that global warming was occurring faster than expected and could have devastating impacts if steps were not taken to reduce carbon emissions.

The report also said that India could witness deadly heatwaves if the global temperatures rose by 2°C.

“At + 2°C warming, Karachi (Pakistan) and Kolkata (India) could expect annual conditions equivalent to their deadly 2015 heatwaves,” the report said.

The 2015 heatwave had resulted in more than 2,500 deaths in India and more than 1,100 deaths in Pakistan.

In order to limit warming at 1.5°C, the world will have to reduce carbon emissions by 45% by 2030 from the 2010 levels.

The report states that countries such as India would find their economic growth take a hit if global temperatures increased by 2°C instead of 1.5°C.

According to the report, coastal flooding by the sea alone is likely to cost thousands on billions of dollars annually, with damage costs under constant protection pegged at 0.3–5.0% of global GDP in 2100.

“The new report from the IPCC has served us a final warning that we must get our act together – now and quickly,” Sunita Narain, Director General, CSE, said.

She has appealed to the world to focus exclusively on limiting warming to 1.5°C instead of 2°C, which is the upper limit of the temperature goal mentioned under the Paris Agreement.

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50m Indians to be hit by rising sea level by 2100: UN

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