While climate finance is still a mirage, climate adaptation in the form of early warning dissemination is key to safeguarding lives and livelihoods from cascading natural hazards causing substantial losses around the world, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said at the UN Climate Conference (COP27) in Egypt on Monday.
Speaking at the UN Secretary General High Level Round Table to launch the “Early Warnings for All Executive Action Plan", Yadav stressed that the global pace of climate mitigation is not enough to contain the rate of climate change.
There is an urgent need to acknowledge the cascading natural hazards that cause substantial losses around the world, he said, adding that India fully supports the UN secretary general’s agenda to achieve “Early Warnings for All".
With the intensification of tropical cyclones in the Pacific and the Caribbean, small tropical States have lost 200 per cent of their national income in a few hours. Such instances could have devastating consequences in countries that do not have sufficient means to cope with them, Yadav said.
“With climate finance still a mirage, climate adaptation in the form of early warning dissemination is key in safeguarding lives and livelihoods. ‘Early Warnings For All’ plays a part in not just containing the immediate physical impacts, but also in mitigating the far-reaching, long-term socio-economic implications that follow," he added.
Yadav said India has been working on strengthening end-to-end early warning systems for all hydro-meteorological hazards.
Deaths due to cyclones in the country have reduced by up to 90 per cent in the last 15 years, he said, adding that early warning systems for cyclones cover almost the entire east and west coasts.
India is making swift progress in respect of early warning for other hazards such as heat waves, the minister said, adding that the country has made concerted efforts towards making early warnings impact-based, easily understandable and actionable by communities over the last few years.
“We have integrated hazard, vulnerability and exposure information to develop Web-DCRA (Dynamic Composite Risk Atlas) to enable swift and advanced action on early warnings.
“The Cyclone Warning Division of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) also acts as a multilateral, regional, specialised meteorological centre for monitoring, predicting and issuing warning services on tropical cyclones developing over the north Indian Ocean and 13 countries in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea region," he said.
The collaboration helped in the exchange of meteorological data from the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea countries to the IMD and improved monitoring and forecast.
“Moreover, meteorological data of satellite and radar, and model guidance from the IMD, along with tropical cyclone advisory bulletins, helped the countries minimise loss of lives," he said.
The number of lives lost due to tropical cyclones has been minimised over the last 10 years, not only in India but also in all the countries in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea region for which the IMD issues tropical cyclone forecasts and advisories.
“We would now like to maximise the full potential of early warning systems for not just reducing the loss of lives but also for livelihoods and national development gains," Yadav said.
At the conference being held in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt from November 6 to 18, developed countries are expected to push developing nations to further intensify their climate plans.
On the other hand, the developing countries would seek a commitment from the developed nations to finance and technology that are needed to address climate change and the resulting disasters.
Yadav had on Sunday said India expects action from rich countries in terms of climate finance, technology transfer and strengthening the capacity of poor and developing countries to combat climate change.
“India believes COP27, themed ‘Together for Implementation’, should turn out to be the ‘COP for Action’ in terms of climate finance, technology transfer and capacity building.
“The scale of the problem facing the world is huge. Action cannot be delayed and hence, concrete solutions must come up and implementation must start with COP27," the environment minister had said.
The UN climate summit this year is being held in the shadow of the Russian aggression in Ukraine and the related energy crisis, which has strained the capabilities of countries to urgently tackle climate change.
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