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NGOs smell smoke in the air

November 20, 2007 10:30 IST

A changing climate and the resultant effect on water availability means that 60 per cent of the world population currently residing in Asia faces a grave future.

Global warming may sound like vague jargon from scientists making reports for the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change. Does it matters if the green house gas emissions by the world cross the limits of 550 part per million by 2050? Or if average per capita carbon emissions go beyond the 2.5 tonne mark?

Up in the Smoke, Asia and the Pacific, is the NGOs' take on climate change, giving, what its authors claim, is the voice of the people actually impacted by climate change across 13 countries. It also says that any further increase in temperature beyond 2 degrees would see Asia and Pacific up in smoke as majority of the world's population lives in these two continents.

About 22 NGOs have contributed to the report, with most of them being members of the vast 300-member international network called Climate Action Network, which is to be present at the IPCC summit in December.

The authors for the inputs on India include NGOs like Greenpeace, Action Aid, TERI and World Wildlife Fund.

The report shows that climate change is for real and it is affecting real people.

Hence, both measures of mitigation of damage and adaptation to climate change are urgent, co-author Suruchi Bhadwal of TERI said.

The report comes even as the first of the key meetings of the IPCC to secure a global climate agreement is scheduled to start in Bali next month.

Prakash Rao of the World Wild life Fund of India a co-author for the India inputs in the report which spans 13 countries says that the threat to the rivers are real. Water-flow in the Ganges will reduce by two thirds, affecting more than 400 million people who depend on it for drinking water, the report says.

The report, with a foreword by Dr R K Pachauri, chairman of the Nobel prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says that without immediate action, global warming is set to reverse decades of social and economic progress across Asia, home to over 60 per cent of the world's population.

The report is published in the wake of evidence that a majority of industrialised countries are reneging on targets for emissions reductions set to tackle climate change.

The report shows how the human drama of climate change will largely be played out in Asia, where almost two thirds of the world's population live, effectively, on the front-line of climate change.

Among potential devastating impacts of climate change, the report cites the example of 400 million people living in the Gangetic Basin, who will be hit by water shortage. It also cites 600 farm-dependent families who will be hurt by crop losses triggered by climate change.


  • Three islands submerged in Sunderbans; 6000 families displaced
  • 400 m people on Ganga Basin face drought
  • 600 m farm families face crop losses
  • BS Reporter in New Delhi