The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate (IPCC) says global temperatures are expected to go past a level of warming that world sought to prevent, threatening the world with extreme heat waves that previously only struck once in every 50 years, now at least one per decade. Several Indian scientists have contributed to the latest report.
The report, called the Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, is the sixth such assessment report published by the IPCC since its inception in 1988. The starkest finding of the report is the fact that global temperatures are expected to rise by 1.5-2 degrees celsius from the pre-industrial age in less than 20 years.
Union Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav said in his tweet message that the report is a clarion call for the developed countries to undertake immediate, deep emission cuts, and decarbonisation of their economies. An official statement quoting the Minister developed countries have usurped far more than their fair share of the global carbon budget. Reaching net zero alone is not enough, as it is the cumulative emissions up to net zero that determine the temperature that is reached. This has been amply borne out in the IPCC report. It vindicates India’s position that historical cumulative emissions are the source of the climate crisis that the World faces today.
The Minister informed said that the country has taken several steps to tackle climate change and is on the path of decoupling its emissions from economic growth. Among these are setting up of International Solar Alliance, Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure, raising the domestic renewable energy target to 450 GW by 2030, and putting in place an ambitious National Hydrogen Mission. India’s actions to address global climate change are 2oC compliant and rated highly by several independent agencies of the world, the statement added. India’s cumulative and per capita current emissions are significantly low and far less than its fair share of the global carbon budget.
The government noted that climate change is impacting the South Asian monsoon. The report brought out that the monsoon rainfall is expected to intensify in all ranges of the projected scenarios. The intensity and frequency of heavy rainfall events are projected to be on the rise. The rising temperature will lead to increased frequency and intensity of extreme events including heat waves and heavy rainfall, the statement said.
The report, being deemed as the “most important report on climate change” in this century, is the first IPCC report to predict regional effects of climate change. In this regard, some findings of the report predict almost certain disasters for India and its communities due to extreme weather events like floods, cyclones, and heatwaves, spurred by climate change.