Security Implications of Climate Change for India: Report of the IDSA Working Group

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The IDSA Working Group on Security Implications of Climate Change for India felt that while it would be proper to oppose the securitisation of climate change, it would be prudent not to ignore its likely security dimensions. The Working Group Report identifies India's key vulnerabilities. Future projections of surface warming over India indicate that the annual mean area averaged surface warming is likely to be between 2 degrees and 3 degrees celcius and 3.5 and 5.5 degrees celcius by the middle and end of 21st century respectively. Trends in sea level rise indicate a possible rise between 1.06 to 2.75 mm per year. Every 1.0 degree rise in temperature would reduce wheat production by 4 to 5 million tonnes. Water scarcity will threaten food supplies in India. A quarter of our biodiversity could be lost.

The Working Group felt that climate change cannot be delinked from the overall energy security and economic growth. The National Action Plan on Climate Change is a good beginning but its time-bound implementation needs to be ensured. India needs to improve energy efficiency in the industrial, household and transport sectors. The Working Group also looked at the possible adverse impact on the strategy and tactics of Indian armed forces. India should use climate change as an opportunity to make socio-economic development more sustainable.

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