This paper argues that investing in climate adaptation activities can secure livelihoods while improving mechanisms to build resilience to climate hazards.
Anjana Thampi, Assistant Professor of Economics, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
India was seventh in a list of the ten most affected countries due to extreme weather events in 2019. A sharp increase in the frequency and intensity of such events in the country by the end of the twenty-first century is projected. At the same time, relatively high economic growth rates have not resulted in secure and sustainable employment opportunities in the Indian economy. The loss of millions of jobs due to climate hazards in the country is also projected. In this context, I raise two key questions. First, are livelihoods in certain regions within India more vulnerable to climatic changes? The priority regions for adaptation planning and intervention are identified by constructing a livelihoods vulnerability index. Second, can institutional climate adaptation activities simultaneously address the climate and livelihoods crises in the country?
The job creation estimates through five representative adaptation activities support the need for increased spending in a climate adaptation programme. Spending 1.5 percent of the GDP on a climate adaptation programme could create jobs to the extent of 1.3 percent of the labour force as of 2017-18. Investing 3 percent of the GDP on a combined climate adaptation and mitigation programme over the same amount spent instead on a fossil fuel-based programme would lead to net employment gains of around 2 percent of the labour force. This paper argues that investing in climate adaptation activities can secure livelihoods while improving mechanisms to build resilience to climate hazards. Such activities, if planned and implemented in accordance with the geographies, vulnerabilities, and socio-economic patterns of each region, could be transformational.
Published in: Political Economy Research Institute
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