On the basis of climate change data and recorded heat wave data, with proper study of different regions, action plans will have to be prepared at the local level according to different regions. Read Akshit Joshi’s analysis
Rising temperature is a cause of concern for India.
Soon after the IPCC AR6 Synthesis Report 2023, the Center for Policy Research (CPR) on Monday released a report analyzing 37 Heat Action Plans (HAPs). Spread over 18 states, 9 cities, 13 districts, 15 states come in these 37 places. Several opportunities were also identified to strengthen them.
The document suggested a variety of solutions (62 different types of solutions) for HAP, ranging from promoting green roofs to awareness programs in schools at the state level.
world facing warming
The report titled ‘How is India adapting to heatwaves?: An assessment of heat action plans with insights for transformative climate action’ comes at a time when both India and the world are facing the hottest temperatures ever recorded in human history India witnessed unprecedented heat in 2022 and February 2023 was declared by the India Meteorological Department as the warmest February since 1901. Europe also saw its warmest January on record. The fifth warmest January was recorded in North America and the sixth warmest January in Africa.
A study by World Weather Attribution last year analyzed heatwaves in India and found that human actions have accelerated the forecast of extreme heat events thirtyfold. Make it mandatory to take fast and better action against. This is emphasized in the report. Most of the findings of the report are about the structural problems inherent in HAPs in India.
Our plans were not made according to the local level
The first and most basic point is how our plans are not localised. A uniform climate and temperature reduction plan cannot be implemented in a country with diverse geography and climate zones like India. If the problem is to be addressed for the entire country, then locational differentiation and specificity in action is necessary.
The report also highlighted that vulnerable groups were not identified properly and the problem was not targeted and attacked with full force. “Almost all HAPs fail to identify and work on vulnerable groups – Only two HAPs were successful in doing the right assessment (systematically finding out where the most affected people are in a city, district or state). Most HAPs highlight broad categories of vulnerable groups (elderly, outdoor workers, pregnant women). The solutions they offer do not necessarily focus on these groups,” the report says.
Lack of funds is also a big reason
It was also said that most of the HAPs are short of funds. According to the report, out of 37 HAPs, only three identify funding sources. 8 HAPs themselves demand resources from the awarding department, which makes it clear that HAPs are severely short of funds, says the CPR report.
It has also been pointed out that the HAPs in the country are neither completely transparent nor do they have a strong legal basis. The report mentions the problems we are facing as a nation regarding climate change and global warming. Without the strong will and effort of the government, it will be difficult to take any meaningful change on the ground. With the situation constantly deteriorating, this cannot go on for long.
what is the way forward
If India really wants to face the recent extreme heat wave or the heatwave crisis this year or the very high temperatures in the coming times, then it should heed the recommendations of the CPR report. As mentioned above The first step would be to take concrete action at the policy and structural level.
During the tenure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has taken many positive steps in the fight against climate change. Many of these are at the policy level which will have long lasting impact in India and globally. Proper budget allocation should also be a priority if we want to strengthen HAP.
Action plan will have to be made at the local level
On the basis of climate change data and recorded heat wave data, with proper study of different regions, action plans will have to be prepared at the local level according to different regions. This may require a classification similar to the way we classify areas for earthquakes. Measures to deal with hotspots in western countries can help make HAP more efficient in India as well.
The right action plan made in this way can prove useful to combat this problem. Heatwaves are not expected to subside in the near future. It is advisable to make such HAPs in which pre-risk actions are taken and not post-risk disaster management. According to the CPR report, the HAP plans among the common citizens Risk management and prevention with increased awareness and education is the way to deal with the long term effects of heat and rising global temperatures that we are facing these days.
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