To address an issue as vast as Global Warming, we’ll have to start at a much smaller unit first i.e., state(s) whose sum is the final product and some states contribute more to this phenomena than the others. To start at a more personal level, let’s examine and study the position of India and its states with regards to climate change.
There is something called as the ‘Indian Airpocalypse’ that is currently prevailing in the country, even though it is a casual and informal term, it sums up the basic idea. The problem begins with ignorance and lack of knowledge, as always. Most Indian states are documented and recorded in terms of climate conditions but there is still lack of data in 23 states and lack of captured data in many cities. India has only 80 monitoring stations and falls pale in comparison with China’s 1500+ monitoring stations. India is a developing nation and has prospered well so far in other crucial aspects such as education, job prospects, civilian rights but it has much space to grow in this particular aspect.
Another alarming fact is that India’s carbon emissions are rising and rose to almost 5% in 2016, although it is a tiny number and since India is only going to develop further in terms of infrastructure and industries, there will be increased number of carbon emissions. But India has the benefit of the doubt as it can rude its carbon emissions by improving equipment efficiency which happens to be the main character in release of GHG emissions. Hence, India’s contribution to release of GHG gases inevitably means that it will not remain unaffected by its disastrous effects. Let’s take a look at the severity of the situation:
India has been recognised as a disaster prone country and was ranked third highest in the world in number of significant disasters in the year 2007-2008, with 18 such events taking place and taking the life of a large number of people. The increased temperature has resulted melting of glaciers and expanding of seas which will of course influence the Indian climate and lead to incidence of floods, storms and hurricanes. This poses as a major threat to food security, livelihood, economies and everything concerned with human life. Even the slightest increase in temperature even by 3 degrees could lead to submersion of major cities Mumbai and Chennai, and the air quality will just worse in states such as Haryana and Delhi.
Cities and states that prone to droughts such as Bihar and Uttar Pradesh will feel the brunt of it as well as the situation will worse and water availability would decrease and various river basins are likely to experience scarcity of water.
India is developing rapidly by the help of manmade efforts and mechanisms but one cannot put nature at bay, if precautionary measures are ignored or absent, there will be severe consequences that could wash out the progress this country has achieved so far and wreak havoc on its citizens. Hence, we should look at a few measures that can curb this issue one step at a time:
Thankfully, the Indian Government has always accepted as climate change to be an exponential threat to ecosystems, economies and its citizens and has taken measures to reduce its carbon footprint. Under the Paris Agreement in December 2015, India has made a commitment to reduce its greenhouse emissions and to have 40 percent cumulative power capacity from non-fossil fuel based sources by 2030.
India also plans to shift to cleaner modes of transportation and set itself a target that by 2030, not a single petrol or diesel car should be sold in the country. Along with this, The Supreme Court has imposed a ban on the sale of heavy diesel cars.
Besides the initiatives of the Indian Government, non-governmental organisations as well as individuals are contributing to the betterment of nature as well. There has been active participation to plant trees, reduce usage of coal in rural households by replacing it with an alternative and making the switch from petrol/diesel powered vehicles to ones powered by CNG.
Even a minute step such as switching off the engine at a red light makes a difference; it is a domino effect of sorts. A person seeing another person caring and being sensitive towards nature and monitoring their own doings will feel the conscientious need to do something for nature as well. We are not trying to save just ourselves, rather a state, a nation, a world.