A climate vulnerability index for India on the anvil

Prelims level : Climate Change Mains level : GS - III
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The Department of Science and Technology (DST) will be commissioning a study to assess the climate risks faced by States in India. This follows an assessment of the global warming risks faced by 12 Himalayan States — and discussed at last year’s U.N. climate change conference in Poland — that found States such as Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand vulnerable to climate change.

Common methodology

Last year the some premier institutes in India decided to evolve a common methodology, and determine how districts there are equipped to deal with the vagaries of climate change.

The researchers prepared a ‘vulnerability index’ of each of these States based on district-level data. Vulnerability would be a measure of the inherent risks a district faces, primarily by virtue of its geography and socio-economic situation.

Vulnerability index

The Parameters are:

  • Percentage of area in districts under forests,
  • Yield variability of food grain,
  • Population density,
  • Female literacy rate,
  • Infant mortality rate,
  • Percentage of population below poverty line (BPL),
  • Average man-days under MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), and
  • The area under slope > 30%.

Main Outcomes of COP 24 in Katowice:

The participating nations agreed on the rules to implement the Paris Agreement that will come into effect in 2020. The rules are regarding how the mem ber nations will measure the carbon-emissions and report on their emissions-cutting efforts.

This ‘rulebook’ can be called as the detailed “operating manual” of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The members of the conference did not agree to “welcome” the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on 1.5°C. The US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait refused to “welcome” the IPCC report.

The parties to the conference agreed to record the pledges in a public registry, as per the existing interim portal. The public registry will continue to include a search function, although many attempts have been made to get it deleted.

It was also agreed among the members that future pledges should cover a “common timeframe” from 2031. The number of years for the timeframe will be decided later.

Many difficult matters could not reach an agreement and have been postponed to next year for resolution.

This includes questions such as ways to scale up existing commitments on emission reduction, different ways of providing financial aid to the poor nations, wording that prevents double counting and whether member nations are doing enough to cut their respective emissions.

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