New Delhi, 21 March 2022: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), periodically prepares comprehensive Assessment Reports on the state of knowledge on climate change, its causes, potential impacts and response options. These assessments are based on the extant scientific literature available at the time. Scientists from all over the world, including India, contribute to the preparation of IPCC Assessment Reports.The IPCC is currently in its Sixth Assessment cycle and has completed two reports so far, released in August 2021, by Working Group I and in February 2022 by Working Group II.

India has taken note of the Working Group II contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) on ‘Climate Change: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability’.The report notes that global hotspots of high human vulnerability are found particularly in West, Centraland East Africa, South Asia, Central and South America, Small Island Developing States and the Arctic. Further, as per the report, Asia is identified as one of regions most vulnerable to climate change, especially on extreme heat, flooding, sea level rise, and erratic rainfall.However, the report also notes that vulnerability and the burden of adaptation is highest for those who have contributed the least to global warming. India is one of the leading examples of this, having contributed so far only about 4 per cent of global cumulative emissions.

The risks due to climate change and climate extremes will rise throughout the world with increasing temperatures, with the historical emissions due to developed countries already causing a number of adverse impacts in different sectors and different regions. The developed countries who have contributed the bulk of cumulative emissions so far, and continue to emit at a level disproportionate to their share of the global population with their inadequate efforts in climate mitigation, have to drastically step up their efforts at climate action. The developing countries also need support under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Paris Agreement in terms of climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building in order to adapt to growing climate impacts primarily arising from stock of historical and current high per capita emissions of the developed countries.

The Government is implementing the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), which is the overarching policy framework for climate action in India, covering mitigation, adaptation and generation of strategic knowledge on climate change. It comprises of national missions in the specific areas of solar energy, enhanced energy efficiency, water, agriculture, the Himalayan eco-system, sustainable habitat, green India and strategic knowledge on climate change. Most of these missions are adaptation focussed. Further, 33 States/Union Territories have prepared State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCCs) consistent with the objectives of NAPCC. The Government is also implementing the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change to support adaptation measures of States/UTs in areas that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change.

The Disaster Management Act, 2005 articulates the need for mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction into development planning. The central government has established a robust early warning system and has significantly enhanced accuracy of weather forecasts. Forecasting agencies are continuing their efforts for improvement of warning and dissemination systems vigorously.The India Meteorological Department (IMD) supports National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) /State Disaster Management Authorities (SDMA) in framing necessary guidelines for the public with respect to different extreme weather events and the same are available in the public domain.

Some other measures for improving disaster preparedness include; (a) Publication of various guidelines on different disasters by NDMA; (b) Setting up of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) for prompt response and pre- positioning of NDRF in disaster vulnerable areas;  (c) Encouraging States to set-up their own State Disaster Response Forces;

Strengthening of State and District Disaster Management systems through various schemes of Central Government; (e) Conducting mock drills and workshops for effectively responding to disasters; and (f) Carrying out capacity building of disaster professionals and communities by NDMA, NDRF and National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM).

A number of other measures are taken, keeping in view the threat of climate change, by various departments, ministries and entities of the Government, as part of their regular mandated activities and responsibilities. These are periodically shared with all stakeholders and the world through India’s National Communications and Biennial Update Reports submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

This information was given by Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change in Lok Sabha today.