India assures full support to UN Secretary General’s agenda of ‘Early Warnings for All’ on Climate Change
New Delhi, November 8, 2022
Union Minister for Environment Bhupender Yadav has assured full support to the UN Secretary General’s agenda of "Early Warnings for All" for a collective approach by nations in reducing vulnerabilities, ensuring preparedness and timely response to natural hazards.
The Minister was speaking at the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Round Table to launch the Early Warnings for All Executive Action Plan at the World leaders’ Summit, COP 27, at Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt on Monday.
“We fully support the Secretary General’s agenda to achieve Early Warnings for All. The global pace of climate mitigation is not enough to contain the rate of climate change. There is an urgent need for the world to acknowledge the cascading natural hazards that cause substantial losses around the world.
“But these issues focus our minds for a moment and then soon lose attention as the countries most able to do something about it are the least affected. They are also the biggest contributors to climate change,” he said.
The most vulnerable regions are located between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Much of the developing world, including India, lies between these tropics. Public expenditures and loss of revenues following the onset of external disasters have already begun to rise in this region with the least coping capacity, Yadav said.
The intensification of tropical cyclones in the Pacific and Caribbean means that some small tropical states have lost 200% of their national income in a few hours. Instances such as these could have devastating consequences in countries that do not have sufficient means to cope with them.
“With climate finance still scarce, climate adaptation in the form of early warning dissemination is key in safeguarding lives, and livelihoods. Early Warnings For All play a part in not just containing the immediate physical impacts, but also mitigating the far-reaching long-term socio-economics implications that follow.
“India has been working on strengthening end-to-end early warning systems for all hydro-meteorological hazards. This has led to concrete results. We have reduced mortality from cyclones by up to 90% over the last 15 years. On both the east and west coasts, we have nearly 100% coverage of early warning systems for cyclones. Similarly, for other hazards such as heat waves, we are making swift progress, leading to much greater resilience of our communities,” he added.
“Over the last few years, we have made concerted efforts towards making early warning impact-based as well as more easily understandable and actionable by communities. We have integrated hazard, vulnerability and exposure information to develop Web – DCRA (Dynamic composite Risk Atlas) to enable swift and advanced action on early warnings.
“The Cyclone Warning Division (CWD) at IMD, New Delhi also acts as a multilateral Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre for monitoring, predicting and issuing warning services on tropical cyclones developing over the north Indian Ocean (one of the six centres in the World) along with 13 countries in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea region.
“The collaboration helped in the exchange of meteorological data from the Bay of Bengal (BoB) and Arabian Sea countries to IMD and improved monitoring and forecast,” the Minister said.
"Moreover, the meteorological data of satellite & radar and model guidance from IMD along with Tropical Cyclone Advisory Bulletins helped the countries to minimise the loss of lives. As an example, the number of lives lost has been minimised, being limited to 100 due to tropical cyclones during the last 10 years, not only in India but also in all the countries in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea region for which IMD provides tropical cyclone forecast and advisories,” he said.
“We would now like to maximise the full potential of Early Warning Systems for not just reducing the loss of lives but also livelihoods and national development gains. India has spearheaded the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) which is working towards developing applications of climate forecast and early warning for reducing infrastructure losses and disruption in basic services.
India has created and is nurturing the CDRI. It has been making concerted efforts to engage various stakeholder institutions and individuals to promote innovation and resilience in infrastructure. One such initiative is the “DRI Connect” which will be a web-based platform for stakeholders engaged in infrastructure sectors.
The platform is envisaged to harness the collective intelligence of Coalition membership towards the creation of new knowledge and actionable solutions to address challenges in resilient infrastructure and foster an environment of action-based learning and innovation on disaster-resilient infrastructure.
Currently, CDRI’s Membership has expanded to include 31 countries and eight member organisations. There is a growing footprint in the African region. South Sudan and the European Investment Bank are the latest members endorsing the Charter. CDRI’s strategic initiatives, expanding programme and membership engagement are enabling it to progress towards the achievement of its goal, he said.
“Climate finance is still a mirage, and effective climate adaptation such as Early Warnings For All helps us collectively in our region toward reducing vulnerabilities and ensuring preparedness and swift and timely response to natural hazards,” he added.
Yadav also spoke at the Middle East Green Initiative Summit 2022 on the sidelines of COP 27 Egypt.
He said India has come to COP 27 with hopes and expectations for speedy and effective implementations of enhanced commitments of the nations to make tangible differences in the lives of the most vulnerable people.
“I understand, various initiatives undertaken by the Middle East Green Initiative, relate directly to encouraging sustainable consumption practices like planting of 50 billion trees across the region that lead to employment opportunities and strengthening the resilience of countries.
“In October 2021, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy announced the goal of becoming the world’s largest Hydrogen Producer. The kingdom’s vast hydrocarbon resources, existing industrial capacities and business expertise make it an attractive supplier to energy import-dependent countries.
“Egypt is developing a Green Ammonia facility to be used as bunker fuel to serve the Suez Canal Maritime traffic. The efforts of the Egyptian Government in establishing green fuel production in the country in the pursuit of net-zero shipping is worth appreciating,’ he said.
“India is committed towards clean and green energy sources and the National Hydrogen Mission is a leap in that direction. As part of the United Nations Decade of Action for the attainment of SDGs, India has initiated several measures for promoting Resource Efficiency and a Circular Economy, including for prevention and management of waste.
“India has also initiated several coalitions such as the International Solar Alliance and both Egypt and Saudi Arabia are part of it.
“I would also like to mention that India has also initiated a Leadership group in Industry transition (Lead IT) track along with Sweden with a focus on hard-to-abate industrial sectors; and Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure for easy and faster mobilisation of technology, finance and necessary information for Small Island Developing States.
He urged the participating countries to join these coalitions “to achieve the goals related to climate change which we have assigned to ourselves.”
The Minister said the India Pavilion at COP 27 is on the theme of LiFE – Lifestyle for Environment which not only focuses on Global Mission LiFE but also effectively elaborates on various initiatives across different sectors taken by India to tackle Climate Change.