New Delhi: Global warming could lead to severe droughts in parts of India and floods in other parts affecting agriculture and leaving forests and coastal areas vulnerable, an Indian minister said on 7 May.
Junior Environment Minister Namo Narain Meena said projected climate change scenarios indicate increase in and variable trend of both rainfall and temperature into the 21st century.
“The initial analysis has revealed that climate change may have adverse effects in terms of severity of droughts and intensity of floods in various parts of the country,” he said.
Experts say the Indian subcontinent will be one of the most seriously affected regions in the world, with more frequent and more severe natural disasters, more diseases like malaria and more hunger.
Currently contributing to around three percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions, India is already among the world’s top polluters, along with the United States, China, Russia and Japan.
Despite pressure from industrialised nations and environmental groups to cut emissions, India is not required under the Kyoto Protocol to cut emissions, rising annually by 2-3%, at this stage.
New Delhi says it must use more energy to lift its population out of poverty -- something rich nations which burnt fossil fuels unhindered for a century -- should understand.
Meena said existing laws and policies together with conservation of rivers, enhanced forestation and promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency would help address the challenges posed by climate change.