"Today, as negotiators haggle over the details of a climate agreement in Paris, my home town in southern India is literally underwater," says Arivudai Nambi Appadurai, WRI India's Adaptation Strategy Head for Climate Resilience Practice. "Chennai has seen 17 days straight of rain, precisely the kind of extreme weather event that experts say will only become more common in a warming world."
Nearly 90 percent of countries that submitted new climate action plans included an adaptation component, reflecting the growing importance nations are placing on resilience in their response to climate change.
Rainfed agriculture sustains millions of farmers in India, meeting 40 percent of India’s food demand. But the impact of a changing climate, including increased droughts and rising temperatures, threatens food production and farming patterns.
All eyes are on India this week, as President Obama is set to make an unprecedented second trip to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
While the leaders’ discussions will address several issues, including nuclear energy and trade, climate and clean energy will be a central part of the agenda. So it’s a tremendous opportunity for the two countries to make substantive progress on shifting to low-carbon, climate-resilient pathways.
Water is a scarce resource in India, especially in the state of Maharashtra, where most rainfall is limited to the monsoon season from June through September. The Government of India has long promoted a Participatory Watershed Development (PWD) approach to deal with this scarcity.