Under the Y20 Engagement Group of G20, Brainstorming Session on ‘Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction’ is Being Organised in Kolkata on 26 May 2023 at ICCR, Kolkata
In an effort to understand the challenges and risks emanating from rapidly rising global temperature, the South Asian Institute for Advanced Research and Development, Kolkata conducted a Brainstorming Workshop in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, and the Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS New Delhi) on May 26, 2023. The brainstorming workshop is a part of the activities of the Youth20 engagement group under the overall framework of G20.
Prof. Tuhin Ghosh, Director, School of Oceanographic Studies, Jadavpur University, Mr. Jayanta Basu, Environment and Climate Correspondent and Columnist, Mr. Pranab Das, Chief Manager, Haldia Water services Pvt Ltd, Dr. Kunal Mandal, CEO, Vivarta Greentech Solutions Pvt. Ltd, Dr. Aparna Bera, Climate Change Practitioner, South Asian Institute for Advanced Research and Development, Ms. Minakashi Mishra, Zonal Director, ICCR-Kolkata and Mr. Biswajit Roy Chowdhury, chairman, SAIARD addressed the gathering.
The main topics of brainstorming session covered “Transitioning to Sustainable Living”, “Mitigating Disaster Risks” and “accelerating the Rise of Green Energy”. Young achievers from Jaipur are expected to attend the event.
According to Prof. Rajib Maity, Climate change is no longer a debatable issue, rather we are focused on different mitigation and adaptation strategies to cope with it. There are several manifestations of climate change. Some of major manifestations are global warming, extreme events (high-intensity rainfall, heat waves, droughts, floods, etc.), and sea level rise. From a deeper scientific perspective, there is an intensification of hydrological cycle causing many of such extremes, leading to increased disaster risk. These are more frequent now than in the past, and are anticipated to increase in the future. Three major things we need are: quality data, reliable models, and public awareness. It is good that we are improving every day in all aspects. However, there is still a lot more to be done, given the faster changes that are being realized currently.
According to,Mr. Praveen Tudu, anthropogenic activities have been the prime factor that contributed to climate change, from global warming to the elevated frequency of thunderstorms. An increase in cloud-ground lightning discharge during the non-monsoon season has been correlated to contributions from various anthropogenic activities such as emissions from power plants, traffic, industries, etc. Natural calamities such as hurricanes and floods have been well-studied to predict their impact, simultaneously preventing the loss of lives. The need of the hour is to implement the contingency plan formulated by running the predictive models and setting up disaster management bodies at grass-root levels.
As per Mr. Kunal Mandal, towards a resilient future, green hydrogen holds tremendous promise. Biowaste, forest residues, etc. can be converted into hydrogen to decarbonize key industrial sectors, lower greenhouse gas emissions, address waste disposal challenges and generate economic opportunities for farmers. Using this clean energy carrier enables grid flexibility and supports the integration of intermittent renewables. In addition, green hydrogen can be used in transportation, industry, and heating, reducing fossil fuel reliance and mitigating climate change impacts. Its deployment can also reduce disaster risk by providing independent energy sources during emergency. Embracing green hydrogen will help us create a sustainable and low-carbon society, ensuring a safer, prosperous world for future generations.
Prof. Tuhin Ghosh said, Hazards are inevitable, we cannot prevent, but that do not inevitably lead to disastrous situation. Yet every year 67,000 people are killed, 26 million are driven into poverty, and nearly 200 million people are affected by natural hazards worldwide. World’s poorest and most exposed people have to suffer the most. And older people, women and girls and people living with disabilities are disproportionately affected. According to Prof. Tuhin Ghosh, Climate-smart disaster risk reduction minimizes the life loss by limiting the amount of risk those people face and the level of impact with consequent damage a crisis might cause. It can help communities effectively prepare, mitigate and cope with the hazardous events. Approaching with this goal is critical as the number of disasters is increasing every year. Climate change, population growth, urban development in risk-prone locations and changes in land use are all increasing the risks.
The issue of vulnerability to natural hazards and disaster risks must remain central to the discussions, and progress must be made to effectively and fairly address the increased risks. It is necessary to provide adaptive capacity, to increase resilience to future threats, and to reduce the existing unacceptable and increasing disaster risk.
Dr. Aparna Bera
As Dr. Aparna Bera states, Climate change concerns are to be seen as the most critical in addressing Disaster risk reduction. There are lot of synergies and linkages going on to bring together co benefits of adaptation, mitigation and DRR as Sustainable & Climate Resilient Economy has been part of the G20 theme under India’s presidency. The aggravated risks of loss of land, resource and biodiversity in vulnerable areas like coastal islands must be resolved by more administrative efforts, institutional strengthening and ecosystem based financing models to integrate and mainstream livelihood development both in terms of policy implications and changing the ground realities involving communities and stake holders.
Mr. Pranab Das
We often think human-induced climate change as something that will happen in the future, but it is an ongoing process. Ecosystems and communities around the world are being impacted today. The predicted impacts of climate change are becoming increasingly visible. Environment and climate-related risks—including extreme weather events, water scarcity and the failure to adapt and mitigate climate change are among the top risks the world faces.It is important to develop, implement and continuously adjust methods and measures for assessing and, above all, managing climate risks. Transition to Sustainable living is possible through Renewable energy, Energy efficiency, Sustainable Waste management, Water conservation, Sustainable agriculture, Circular economy.