What does being a climate refugee mean?

October 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

In this episode Boris and Juan discuss what it means to be a climate refugee. Not to be missed!

Why India is so threatened by climate change? 

Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) 2011. The darker the blue colour the higher the risk. Source: http://www.maplecroft.com

According to the Climate Change Vulnerability Index (CCVI) 2011, released by global risks advisory firm Maplecroft, India is rated as “extreme risk” just behind Bangladesh which is first on the list. Why? India, like other developing countries, is characterised by its dense population (the world’s second most populated country with nearly 1.2 billion inhabitants!), high levels of poverty, exposure to extreme weather events – droughts, severe storms and floods – and a high dependence on the agricultural sector that is being hit by these climate events.

According Dr. Swaminathan (known as the father of the “Green Revolution in India), a one-degree Celsius rise in global temperature could result in wheat losses of 6 million tons per year which represents approximately 10% of India’s annual wheat production. It seems like abstract numbers but just think about how many people could be fed with the millions of tons of food lost.

Rising sea levels in the Indian Ocean is another issue that the country will have to tackle, as it will create particularly serious consequences along the coast where most of the population lives.

Due to these combined factors, India could become the country with the largest number of climate refugees. These people will be forced to move to safer areas within the country or to other countries. In turn, parts of India are likely to become a host of climate refugees from other countries even more threatened, such as Bangladesh.

India is one of the countries that has developed its economy most during the last decades; this economic growth is under threat to decline due to climate change. The implications of this will be felt beyond India boarders, as its climate vulnerability could adversely affect the arrival of foreign investments and impact countries like the UK who are susceptible to dramatic shifts in the global economy.

After reading this short analysis, don’t you think Indian people have enough problems? Are we going to do something to help tackle climate change?

By Juan Mateo Perrote


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