• Smridhi Khanna, Neha Simlai

Climate Change and Related Risks in the Indian Context: A Primer

While climate change and extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, heat waves, and a gradual rise in temperature are a reality for countries across the globe, India is the 14th most affected country by extreme weather conditions according to the Global Climate Risk Index (CRI) 2019 (Ekstein et al. 2018). With 61.5% of India’s 133 crore population remaining dependent on agriculture, and more than 60% of this net sown area being dependent on rain (Mahapatra 2019), India’s exposure to changes in rainfall patterns that cause floods and droughts remains very high.

A close look at India’s 29 states and 7 Union Territories shows that almost all faced at least one extreme weather-related condition in the past five years, with many facing contrasting extreme weather events in the same year.

This paper is a primer on the effects of climate change on India, and aims to show how floods and droughts have impacted the agricultural productivity and economy of the country in the past five years. Additionally, it addresses what the government is doing to tackle this challenge.

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