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Climate change: a challenge to India’s economy

This paper is intended to brief members of the Indian parliament on the linkages between global warming and the country’s economy, and food and water security. Information is also provided about the climate negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC), its Kyoto Protocol and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The paper is specifically meant to apprise members ahead of the sixth conference of parties in The Hague, from November 13-24, 2000.

The paper provides a basic overview of issues including:

  • what is global warming and climate change
  • what are the effects of global warming and climate change
  • have any effects of climate change already been recorded
  • who will suffer the most from global warming
  • what will be the effects of global warming on India.

The paper then focuses on this last issue, examining the potential effects of increased temperature on monsoons, water resources, agriculture, forests, human health, and coastal lands and deltas.

The paper then examines some of the more political causes of global warming, the policy aspects, and political and advocacy approaches that can be taken towards the problem.

The paper concludes by examining what steps the Indian parliament can and should take in the 2000 meetings. The author exhorts members of Parliament to:

  • recognise that global warming will have economic, as well as health and environmental impacts on thier constituencies
  • initiate a parliamentary debate on the impacts of global warming on the country’s economy, and also on the impacts of the current international negotiations
  • ensure that India accepts no less than per capita entitlements, and the best and most effective renewable energy technology under the Kyoto Protocol
  • insist that Indian scientific institutions generate detailed studies listing these impacts, and that this information is made available to the people.