Thursday, November 29, 2007

Global Warming will push India into reverse, as global leadership fades says new report

I kinda knew this... I believe in this totally... something has gotta give... this indiscriminate exploitation of Natural Resources... cant go on forever!!! Read on...

New Delhi, India — Biggest study yet from a unique coalition of major development and environment groups reveals scale of climate impacts in India - immediate action needed before India goes ' Up in Smoke'

New Delhi 19th November 2007: A new report – Up in Smoke? Asia and the Pacific – with a foreword by Dr R.K. Pachauri, Chairman of the Nobel prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – says that without immediate action, global warming is set to reverse decades of social and economic progress across Asia, home to over 60 per cent of the world's population. The report is published in the wake of evidence that a majority of Industrialised countries are reneging on targets for emissions reductions set to tackle climate change.
As world leaders prepare for the next UN talks to determine the international response to climate change, in Bali at the beginning of December, Up in Smoke: Asia and the Pacific, shows how the human drama of climate change will largely be played out in Asia, where almost two thirds of the world's population live, effectively on the front line of climate change.

"While going through the foreword that I wrote for the 2004 volume of "Up in smoke", I find that the concerns and priorities that I had touched on as part of that write-up, if anything, have become stronger, and the uncertainties associated with what I had stated then have been reduced significantly. The IPCC findings provide the evidence for the same." Dr RK Pachauri, Director General, The Energy and Resources Institute and Chairman, IPCC.

India is large country with close to 700 million people living in rural areas who depend on climate sensitive sectors such as agriculture, forests, and fisheries for their livelihoods. Its ecosystems such as riversheds, mangroves, coastal zones, forests and grasslands are already overburdened by environmental pressures from commercialization , excessive resource use and indiscriminate dumping of industrial and agricultural waste.

The report highlights the potential devastating impacts of climate change in India, for example, that:

India has already 250 million people that live in absolute poverty with little capacity to cope with climate change. 400 million people living in the Ganga Basin will be further affected by water shortages in the near future. Many more will be affected by floods and droughts due to erratic monsoons and the fast depletion of Himalayan glaciers.
Around 600 million Indians depend on agriculture, which, unlike the rest of the economy, has been crawling along at a growth rate of less than 2% per annum. Production has been stagnant, per capita availability of food is declining, farmer suicides and hunger deaths are on the rise, and agrarian distress is acute and widespread. These trends will be further accentuated due to climate change.
Some vulnerable sections of society like women, tribal communities, scheduled castes will bear the brunt of the impacts of climate change. Women, for example, will spend a greater and greater amount of their time in arranging for food, fuel and water for their families.
In the Sundarbans, already four islands have been completely submerged, displacing about 6,000 families. These families have the misfortune of being India's foremost Climate Refugees.

There is growing consensus about the current human and environmental challenges facing Asia, and what is needed to tackle them. There is already enough knowledge and understanding to know what the main causes of climate change are, how to reduce future climate change, and how to begin to adapt.
Alongside new evidence of the devastating impact that climate change is already having on communities across Asia, Up in Smoke Asia and the Pacific, shows positive measures that are already being taken – by governments, by civil society and by local people – to reduce the causes of climate change and to overcome its effects. It shows examples of emissions reduction; alternative water and energy supply systems; preservation of strategic ecosystems and protected areas; increasing capacity, awareness and skills for risk and disaster management; and the employment of effective regulatory and policy instruments. The challenge is clear and many of the solutions are known: the point is, to act.
Immediate decisions needs to be made on the following:
1) Appropriate policy and fiscal measures for dealing with the immediate future impacts of climate change
2) Move towards sustainable, low carbon intensity energy pathways, while not compromising on development goals
3) Planned adaptation measures in climate sensitive sectors, especially water and agriculture
4) Disaster risk reduction and disaster preparedness in vulnerable areas.