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Climate Change Risks Could Cost India $7 Billion Agricultural Loss

By Outlook Planet Desk November 29, 2023

Lethal heat waves could sweep megacities in India and neighbouring countries in business-as-usual scenarios

Climate Change Risks Could Cost India $7 Billion Agricultural Loss
India will account for 25 percent of global energy demand growth in the next two decades and is set to overtake the European Union as the world's third-biggest energy consumer by 2030. Shutterstock
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Due to climate change, India's estimated countrywide agricultural loss in 2030 will be more than $7 billion. Under business-as-usual emission scenarios, megacities in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan could be among the first places in the world to experience extreme heat that exceeds the survivability threshold of 35 degrees C.

Under business-as-usual emission scenarios, megacities in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan could be among the first places in the world to experience extreme heat that exceeds the survivability threshold of 35 degrees C.

Sustainable cooling solutions, which include "green" refrigerants, super energy-efficient ACs and fans, and thermal comfort in buildings, offer a $1.6 trillion potential market for India, finds the World Bank.

India will account for 25 percent of global energy demand growth in the next two decades and is set to overtake the European Union as the world's third-biggest energy consumer by 2030.

According to the International Energy Agency's (IEA) estimates, India's electricity demand for running household air conditioners will expand ninefold by 2050 and exceed total power consumption in Africa today. India was prescient in launching a Cooling Action Plan in 2019.

The World Bank finds that sustainable cooling offers India a $1.6 trillion potential market, including investing in sustainable "green" refrigerants, super energy-efficient ACs and fans, and thermal comfort in buildings. The WB said it will support differentiated strategies around decarbonising electricity, energy storage, and energy efficiency.

Under business-as-usual emission scenarios, megacities in India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan could be among the first places in the world to experience extreme heat that exceeds the survivability threshold of 35 degrees C.

Further, India uses double or triple the amount of water to produce a single unit of major food crops compared to China, Brazil, and the United States. Agriculture is also a significant source of GHG emissions. Higher mechanisation, the increased use of groundwater irrigation, and cold chain development could significantly increase energy demands, requiring improved energy efficiency and low-carbon energy utilisation.

India's estimated countrywide agricultural loss in 2030 will be more than $7 billion due to climate change, severely affecting 10 percent of the population's income.  

In India and Pakistan, WB's SAR Climate Roadmap aims to strengthen the water-agriculture nexus through technical assistance on agricultural subsidy reforms, water resource management policies, and water pricing reforms. A notable proposed activity is performance-based lending, focusing on resource efficiency in an upcoming irrigation project in India.

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