India among countries most affected by climate change

India among top 10 countries most affected by climate change in 2019

According to a report, India ranked as the seventh worst-hit country followed by Japan, Malawi, and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Representative Image. Credit: iStock Photo

India is among the ten most affected countries by climate change in 2019 as per the 'Global Climate Risk Index 2021', likely to be adversely impacted by a surplus of its annual monsoon season.

"In 2019, the monsoon conditions continued for a month longer than usual, with the surplus of rain causing major hardship. From June to end of September 2019, 110 per cent of the normal rainfall occurred, the most since 1994. The floods caused by the heavy rains were responsible for 1,800 deaths across 14 states and led to the displacement of 1.8 million people," the report stated.

The 2021 index, published by environmental think tank Germanwatch, analysed data from 180 countries about the extent to which their regions have been affected by weather-related loss events in 2019.

The report stated that overall, 11.8 million people were affected by the intense monsoon season with the economic damage estimated to be $10 billion. It also pointed out that six of the eight cyclones intensified to become “very severe".

"The worst was Cyclone Fani in May 2019, which affected a total of 28 million people, killing nearly 90 people in India and Bangladesh and causing economic losses of $8.1 billion," it stated.

The worst affected countries in the list are Mozambique, Zimbabwe and The Bahamas. India ranked as the seventh worst-hit country succeeded by Japan, Malawi, and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Between 2000 and 2019, eight of the 10 countries most affected were developing countries with low or lower middle income per capita.

Anjal Prakash, Research Director and Adjunct Associate Professor at Bharti Institute of Public Policy and Coordinating Lead Author of IPCC's special report on oceans and cryosphere, said it was not surprising to know that India was among the top 10 most affected countries, according to a report by Business Insider India.

"As an IPCC scientist, we have been pointing towards extreme risk an emerging market such as India is going to face due to very rapidly changing climatic conditions. India is blessed by many ecologies — glaciers, high mountains, long coastlines as well as massive semi-arid regions which are the hotspots for climate change.

"A majority of the Indian population is dependent on agriculture, which is being severely affected by the impacts of climate change. This year, India saw many of its cities drowning due to variability of the monsoon system. Many global reports, including IPCC reports, have been pointing this out year after year," he told the publication.

What is Climate Risk Index?

According to the organisation's report, the Climate Risk Index (CRI) indicates a level of exposure and vulnerability to extreme events, intended as warnings for countries to be prepared in the future. Between 2000 and 2019, over 4,75 000 people lost their lives globally as a result of more than 11,000 extreme weather events and losses amounted to around $2.56 trillion (in purchasing power parities).