Over 4.5 crore people will be forced to migrate from their homes in India by 2050 due to climate disasters including floods, droughts and cyclones, three times more than the present figures, according to a new report. In 2020, the number of people displaced in India is 1.4 crore, it said. The report'Costs of climate inaction: displacement and distress migration' assessed climate-fuelled displacement and migration across five South Asian countries — Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka — and calculates a devastating likelihood of over 6 crore people being homeless and displaced by 2050 in South Asia alone.
It is based on a study conducted by International agencies ActionAid International and Climate Action Network South Asia. Quoting figures, the report claimed that 4.5 crore from India will be forced to migrate from their homes by 2050 due to climate disasters.
"Political failure to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius as per the Paris agreement goal is already driving 18 million climate migrants from their homes in 2020," the report said. The report released on Friday, estimates that climate migration will treble in South Asia alone, a region badly affected by climate disasters, including floods, droughts, typhoons and cyclones.
The research was undertaken by Bryan Jones, one of the authors of the inaugural Groundswell Report on internal climate migration in 2018. The report called for strong leadership and ambition from developed countries to cut emissions and support for developing countries to adapt to climate change and recover from climate disasters.
It recommended a holistic approach that places the onus on rich countries to provide support and urges developing countries to scale up efforts to protect people from climate impacts. Harjeet Singh, Global Climate Lead at ActionAid, said, "We are facing melting glaciers in Nepal, rising seas in India and Bangladesh, cyclones and inhospitable temperatures. Climate change is increasingly forcing people to flee their homes in search of safety and new means to provide for their families.
"Rich countries need to take greater responsibility to reduce their emissions and support South Asian countries in cutting emissions and dealing with climate impacts. The human cost of inaction is too high," he said. The research reveals that in all five countries, women are left dealing with the negative fallout from climate migration.
"They are left behind to take care of household chores, agricultural activities, look after children and elderly and manage livestock. Women who migrate to urban settlements are often then forced to take up work in precarious settings where workers' rights violations are rife," it said. Sanjay Vashist, Director, Climate Action Network South Asia said, "South Asia is geographically vulnerable to climate disasters and is regularly lashed with floods and cyclones, but poverty and environmental injustice are also determining factors in this climate migration crisis.
"South Asian leaders must join forces and prepare plans for the protection of displaced people. They must step up and invest in universal and effective social protection measures, resilience plans and green infrastructure to respond to the climate crisis and help those who have been forced to move," he said.