Climate Change could accentuate poverty & inequality in India: World Bank
29 June 2018 | Mitigation
Climate change seems to be emerging as one of the greatest threats to the growth potential of the Indian economy, according to a report published by the World Bank.
The report, titled 'South Asia's Hotspots: The Impact of Temperature and Precipitation Changes on Living Standards', projects a 2.8 per cent erosion for the country's GDP by 2050 and a fall in the living standards for nearly half of Indians due to change in temperature and precipitation pattern.
"Rising temperatures and changing monsoon rainfall patterns from climate change could cost India 2.8 per cent of GDP and depress the living standards of nearly half the country's population by 2050," the report said.
The decline in living standards of the population as forecast by the World Bank report can be attributed to a fall in agricultural yield and the health impact effected by such a change.
The report mentions central, northern and north-western India as regions which are most vulnerable to change in climate adding that the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh could see a decline in living standards of up to 9 per cent. About 600 million people live in areas which could turn into moderate or severe hotspots of climate change, the report said.
This could further accentuate problems like inequality and poverty in South Asia.
"These weather changes will result in lower per capita consumption levels that could further increase poverty and inequality in one of the poorest regions of the world, South Asia," said Muthukumara Mani, Lead Economist World Bank.
The report states that even if India were to follow the plan enunciated by the Paris climate change agreement in 2015 the temperature rise would still be by 1-2 degrees celsius by 2050.
Source: Economic Times