Spending on Adaptation to Climate Change 5.6% of GDP: India puts on Record
Dec. 10, 2023

Why in the News?

  • The Central government told the UN Framework for Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) that India has spent about Rs 13.35 lakh crore in 2021-22, just over 5.5% of its GDP.

What’s in Today’s Article?

  • About Climate Adaptation (Meaning, Features, Benefits)
  • News Summary

What is Climate Adaptation?

  • The world is already experiencing changes in average temperature, shifts in the seasons, an increasing frequency of extreme weather events, and slow onset events.
  • The faster the climate changes and the longer adaptation efforts are put off, the more difficult and expensive responding to climate change will be.
  • Adaptation refers to adjustments in ecological, social or economic systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli and their effects.
  • It refers to changes in processes, practices and structures to moderate potential damages or to benefit from opportunities associated with climate change.
  • In simple terms, countries and communities need to develop adaptation solutions and implement actions to respond to current and future climate change impacts.
  • Adaptation actions can take on many forms, depending on the unique context of a community, business, organization, country or region.
  • There is no ‘one-size-fits-all-solution’—adaptation can range from building flood defences, setting up early warning systems for cyclones, switching to drought-resistant crops, to redesigning communication systems, business operations and government policies.
  • Many nations and communities are already taking steps to build resilient societies and economies.

Benefits of Climate Adaptation:

  • Adaptation efforts are meant to reduce the impacts of climate change. Along with mitigation, or reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation is a central pillar of global climate action.
  • Timely effort towards adaptation can prevent climate disasters and economic losses.
  • The money spent on protecting an airport or a power station against flooding, for example, would be much less than the chaos or economic losses incurred when they go out of operation because of an extreme rainfall or flooding event.

News Summary:

  • India spent about Rs 13.35 lakh crore in 2021-22, just over 5.5% of its GDP, on climate adaptation and expects to incur another about Rs 57 lakh crore over the next seven years for this purpose.
  • The Central government informed the UN Framework for Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC), recently.
    • The UNFCCC secretariat (UN Climate Change) is the United Nations entity tasked with supporting the global response to the threat of climate change.
    • The secretariat is located in Bonn, Germany.
  • However, if climate-induced damage could escalate this amount by another Rs 15.5 lakh crore.

Why Did the Government Provide this Information to UNFCCC?

  • Under the global climate change framework, countries are supposed to measure their annual greenhouse gas emissions every few years, and submit it to UNFCCC for maintaining a global inventory.
  • This used to be called National Communication (NATCOMs), under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol mechanism.
  • Under the Paris Agreement (2015) that has replaced Kyoto Protocol, this submission is called Biennial Update Reports, or BURs.
  • On Saturday (9th Dec, 2023), India submitted its third NATCOM which will finish its obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.
  • It has also submitted three BURs under the Paris Agreement so far, and that will continue.
  • The third NATCOM contains detailed inventory of India’s greenhouse gas emissions for the year 2019.
    • It shows that India’s total emissions in 2019 was 3.13 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.
    • Accounting for the absorptions by the forestry sector, the net emissions was 2.64 billion tonnes.
      • This is less than half of United States and less than one-fourth of that of China.
    • The inventory shows that energy sector, comprising, among others, electricity production and road transport, accounted for over 75 per cent of India’s total emissions.
      • It is followed by agriculture which contributed about 13 per cent and industry whose share was about 8 per cent.
  • The Paris Agreement also asked countries to submit and, periodically, update, an adaptation communication, detailing their priorities on this front, and the actions they were taking along with.

India’s first adaptation communication

  • Recently, India’s first Adaptation Communication was submitted along with the third NATCOM.
  • The Adaptation Communication provides a detailed description of India’s vulnerability to climate change, its adaptation requirements, and actions being taken or envisaged.
  • Several government plans and policies, like the Jal Jeevan Mission, PM Awas Yojana, Swachhta Mission, Ganga cleaning exercise, heat action plans, or cyclone warning system have important adaptation co-benefits.
  • In an assessment of the risks it faced on account of climate change, India said total economic value of crop loss (food as well as non-food) due to climate impacts were projected to range between USD 28.6 and 54.8 billion between 2030 and 2050 (2015 prices).
  • Over the next 50 years, these losses could shoot up to USD 612 billion to USD 1 trillion.
  • State-wise, it said, “Uttar Pradesh would suffer the highest economic loss due to impacts of climate change on state agriculture”.
  • India said its expenditure on adaptation-relevant activities, both in absolute amount as well as in proportion to the GDP, had been rising.
  • It is up from about Rs 5 lakh crore and 3.7 per cent of GDP in 2015-16 to Rs 13.35 lakh crore and 5.6 per cent of GDP in 2021-22.
  • It said it would benefit from international financial support in this regard.
  • The international climate change regime mandates developed countries to provide finance to the developing countries for carrying out mitigation, adaptation and several other climate-related activities.