What it's about:
India’s approach to tackling the impacts of climate change is “missing the point,” according to Mridula Ramesh, author of a new book, ‘The Climate Solution’.
Ordinary Indian citizens should be included in discussions on how to reduce planet-warming emissions, improve water and waste management, and build resilience in cities, Ramesh told Quartz magazine in an interview.
“The narrative direction needs to change,” she said, adding that climate change is often perceived as an “elite topic”.
Educating citizens about the impact climate change has on their everyday lives should be a key component of the Indian government’s strategy, argued Ramesh, founder of the Sundaram Climate Institute in Madurai.
Indian women are particularly vulnerable to climate change, she added.
Three quarters of women work in agriculture, an industry that is highly susceptible to climate change. In drought-prone areas, women are often the ones who travel long distances to fetch water and abandon their education to become caregivers.
Why it's noteworthy:
India is the most vulnerable country to climate change, an HSBC ranking of 67 nations found in March.
This year, more than 200 Indians died in a single month in deadly weather conditions. Extreme weather has intensified in recent years, with many states suffering unrelenting heatwaves after months of heavy rainfall and storms.
The Indian government has set an ambitious target of generating 175 gigawatts (GW) of energy from renewable sources by 2022.
But reducing greenhouse gas emissions is not enough, Ramesh said.
India’s fight against climate change will only become truly effective if its citizens start playing a role, she argued. “The individual is the central figure” in the narrative surrounding climate change, she noted.
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