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Over 80% of India’s Population Lives in Districts Highly Vulnerable to Climate Risks: CEEW Report

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Over 80% Indians live in districts vulnerable to climate risksIn October 2021, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) undertook India’s first-of-its-kind district-level climate vulnerability assessment report titled ‘Mapping India’s Climate Vulnerability: A District-Level Assessment’. As per the report, more than 80 percent of India’s population lives in districts that are highly vulnerable to extreme hydro-metrological disasters.

  • CEEW has presented a Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI) of States and Union Territories (UTs) by mapping exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity to map critical vulnerabilities and enhance climate resilience.

Key Findings of the Assessment:

i.Vulnerable Zones: The southern zone of India is found to be the most vulnerable to extreme climate events and their compounding impacts, followed by the eastern, western, northern, north-eastern, and central zones.

  • 59 percent of the total districts in the eastern zones and 41 percent of western zones are highly vulnerable to extreme cyclone events.
  • Exception: The central zone is the only zone in India with no hotspots for extreme cyclone events.

ii.Adaptive Capacity: South, North, North-East, West and Central (5 out of 6 zones in India) have a low adaptive capacity to extreme hydro-metrological disasters, whereas the Eastern Zone has a medium-range adaptive capacity.

iii.As per CVI, Assam, Andhra Pradesh (AP), Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Bihar are highly vulnerable to extreme climate events such as floods, droughts, and cyclones.

Top 5 climate-vulnerable states in India:

State Overall CVI Score Rank
Assam 0.616 1
AP 0.483 2
Maharashtra 0.478 3
Karnataka 0.465 4
Bihar 0.448 5

iv.Dhemaji, Khamman, Gajapati, Vizianagaram, Sangli, Nagaon, Chennai, Madhepura were listed as the very high vulnerable hotspot districts.

  • 463 out of 640 districts in India are vulnerable to extreme floods, droughts and cyclones.

v.Out of 35 states and UTs, 27 are highly vulnerable to extreme hydro-metrological disasters and their compounded impacts.

vi.The frequency and intensity of extreme climate events in India have increased by almost 200 percent since 2005.

Note – India is a tropical country with frequent cyclonic disturbances and monsoon-related extremes. It is the 7th-most vulnerable country with respect to climate extremes (as per Germanwatch 2020).

Recent Related News:

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released a report on the latest climate science information named ‘United in Science 2021’. As per the report, the COVID-19 caused only a temporary decline in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in 2020.

About Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW):

Headquarters – New Delhi, Delhi
Founder-CEO – Arunabha Ghosh