India's performance on climate action slipped between 2019 and 2020: Report

Written By: Aditi Gupta WION
New Delhi, India Updated: Jun 02, 2022, 06:30 PM(IST)

India's performance on climate action slipped between 2019 and 2020: Report Photograph:( Zee News Network )

Story highlights

The 'State of India's Environment -2022' report, released ahead of World Environment Day celebrated on June 5, revealed that India's performance on climate action slipped between 2019 and 2020.

More than 70 percent of river monitoring stations in India have alarming levels of heavy toxic metals like iron and nickel, a latest report said on Thursday.

The 'State of India's Environment -2022' report revealed that 40 percent of the river monitoring stations have high levels of total coliform and 15 percent have biochemical oxygen demand beyond permissible limits, which indicate poor wastewater treatment from industry, agriculture and domestic households.

The report, released ahead of World Environment Day to be celebrated on June 5, said that more than a third of India's coastline, spread across 6,907 km, witnessed soil erosion between 1990 and 2018 due to rise in sea level and anthropogenic activities.

India has almost 30 percent of its geographical area under degradation, triggered by various factors which include climate change.

The soil health remains deficient in several key macro and micro-nutrients that are key for sustainable agriculture, it said.

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It warned that while the cost of cultivation has increased, the income from it has gown down.

The cost of cultivation has increased by almost 35 percent between 2012-13 and 2018-19, but the share of income from cultivation in an agricultural household has diminished from 48 percent in 2012-13 to 37 percent in 2018-19, it said.

"At the same time, half of all agricultural households are under debt. As per government data, on an average, at least 29 farmers and farm labourers commit suicide in the country daily," the report said.

Scientists said that forest cover in 244 out of 638 assessed districts across India's 27 states and five union territories has shrunk between 2019 and 2021.

By 2050, the entire forest cover might become a climate hotspot, it said.

The report, prepared by India's environmental think tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), made some startling revelations on the various environmental issues in India.

India witnessed an unprecedented heatwave this year, as in impact of climate change, which caused massive crop damage and deaths.  

In 2022, India recorded its hottest March. This triggered an early onslaught of heatwaves.

As per the report, the country reported 280 heatwave days between March 11 and May 18, the highest in the past 10 years. This is almost double of what the country experienced in 2012, the second highest heatwave year in the past decade.

Climate triggers more internal displacements than conflicts in the world now and India is the fourth worst hit after China, the Philippines and Bangladesh.

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It said that more than 1.7 million Indians die due to diseases attributable to unhealthy diet and that 71 percent of the country's population cannot afford a healthy diet.

The report said that only five large states in India which are Telangana, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, and two small states -Mizoram and Telangana- show good overall performance in Health Index that looks at key health indicators and existing infrastructure.

In the energy sector, the report said that one-third of all carbon emissions come from burning coal, making it the single largest contributor to climate change in the world. India has the world's second largest operational coal plants capacity, after China.

"By 2050, the world must reduce its GHG emissions from coal by 99 per cent to restrict the temperature rise to 1.5 degree C by 2100," it said.

India recycled 12 percent and burnt 20 percent of the 3.5 million tonnes of plastic waste it generated in 2019-20, the report said, adding that there is no information on the remaining 68 percent of plastic waste, which most likely ends up in dumpsites and landfills.

The report said that reducing air pollution to meet the World Health Organization's levels would add 2.2 years to global life expectancy and in India, the life expectancy will go up by 5.9 years if the country meets the WHO levels of PM2.5.

In the last 50 years since the Stockholm conference in 1972 started a global debate around environment, the world has seen a 38-fold increase in environmental laws but the condition of the planet continues to worsen, a latest report said on Thursday.

The 'State of India's Environment -2022' report released ahead of World Environment Day to be celebrated on June 5, revealed that India's performance on climate action slipped between 2019 and 2020.

Globally, the report said that annual CO2 emissions have reached 36.7 billion tonnes, which is more than double of what was emitted in 1972 and it will have an impact on the planet's health and biodiversity in the next 50 years, unless corrective measures are fast-tracked.

It warned that with eight years left to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030, under the United Nations, India’s preparedness remains far from satisfactory.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, was adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, which provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future.

There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership.

It said that India has identified 295 primary indicators, but it is monitoring only 115 of these.

Performance of all the states and union territories remains poor in the 13th SDG which is climate action.

"In essence, India is not even monitoring progress on 61 per cent of its indicators. For instance, there are 41 indicators identified under SDG 8, which deals with sustained and inclusive economic growth and productive employment. India monitors just nine of them. It is silent on crucial indicators such as the growth of registered micro, small and medium-sized enterprises," the report said.

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There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership.

The report, prepared by India's environmental think tank Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), made some startling revelations on the various environmental issues in India.

It said that India has identified 295 primary indicators, but it is monitoring only 115 of these.

Performance of all the states and union territories remains poor in the 13th SDG which is climate action.
"In essence, India is not even monitoring progress on 61 per cent of its indicators. For instance, there are 41 indicators identified under SDG 8, which deals with sustained and inclusive economic growth and productive employment. India monitors just nine of them. It is silent on crucial indicators such as the growth of registered micro, small and medium-sized enterprises," the report said.

India witnessed an unprecedented heatwave this year, as in impact of climate change, which caused massive crop damage and deaths.  

In 2022, India recorded its hottest March. This triggered an early onslaught of heatwaves. The country reported 280 heatwave days between March 11 and May 18, the highest in the past 10 years. This is almost double of what the country experienced in 2012, the second highest heatwave year in the past decade.

According to the report, 74 percent of river monitoring stations in India have alarming levels of heavy toxic metals like iron and nickel.

40 percent of the stations have high levels of total coliform, and 15 percent have biochemical oxygen demand beyond permissible limits, which indicate poor wastewater treatment from industry, agriculture and domestic households.

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