‘Collective action on climate adaption ahead of COP26 needed’


Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ashwini Kumar Choubey on Tuesday said, India and Asia face a diverse set of developmental challenges, which are exacerbated by climatic factors and existing vulnerabilities shaped by region-specific social, economic, political, and cultural factors.

“And, given that the changes are already being experienced and the impacts are inevitable, efforts towards adaptation need to be paced up,” Choubey said in his Ministerial Address at the inaugural session of the Sixth International Adaptation Futures Conference on Climate Change Adaptation here held virtually.

Asserting that the Conference presents a tremendous opportunity for all stakeholders to engage in constructive and action-oriented dialogue, especially ahead of COP26 in Glasgow – the annual climate change summit that is to happen at the United Kingdom city of Glasgow – the Minister said, “Adaptation measures should be designed to cater to specific needs of the country, community, and region.”

Suggesting that for India to accelerate its adaptation action, there is a need for enhanced support in terms of bilateral or multilateral climate funding for adaptation, Choubey said, “Technical support to subnational governments, enhancing capacities for planning and implementing adaptation action, extending robust scientific research and evidence along with a greater role of private sector in R&D, innovation, and raising domestic climate finance through Public-Private partnership are crucial steps in this direction.”

“The longer we take to act, the harder and costlier it will become to adapt,” he warned.

Organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the Sixth International Adaptation Futures Conference on Climate Change Adaptation is the first of its kind being held in Asia, hosted by India.

In her welcome address, TERI Director General Vibha Dhawan said, “As the world economies are rebuilding and adapting to the pandemic, we have an opportunity to build more sustainable economic recoveries, and strengthen resilience to future shocks, by scaling up investment in climate adaptation.”

Highlighting the critical timing of the Conference and the need for urgent climate adaptation action, Chair, Science Committee, Adaptation Futures and Professor, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, Dr Anand Patwardhan expressed the hope of many that, “COP26 will become an adaptation COP.”

NABARD Chairman Dr G.R. Chintala highlighted that agriculture is in the frontlines of climate change, in terms of both its dependence and impact on the natural resources, due to which the impact would detrimental. “Farmers’ income can drop by 15-18 per cent due to climate change, which is alarming especially for India, where communities are highly dependent on agriculture.”