Heat Deaths: S&P Says India Among Most Vulnerable to Climate Change
Pakistan and Afghanistan are also hot with temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit, but India is suffering far worse, due in part to its many densely populated areas, according to a CNN report.
As expected, India has blamed Pakistan for heat-related deaths. “In Pakistan’s Sindh, temperatures have shot up to 49, even 50 degrees. Westerly winds are bringing with them this extreme, dry heat through a process called advection (transport),” said BP Yadav, director India Meteorological Department (IMD).
As longer, more severe heat waves become increasingly frequent globally, India appears to be the most affected. Thousands of people died across India during heat waves in 2002 and 2003. In 2010 around 300 people were killed by intense temperatures, according to media reports of the period.
Bangladesh and India, along with several South East Asian and African nations, are the most vulnerable to climate change, while the United States, Canada and Western Europe are the least vulnerable, according to an assessment by Standard and Poor credit rating service. The rich industrialized nations which have contribute the most to climate change are the least vulnerable to its disastrous effects now. The report says Pakistan and China are relatively less vulnerable than India and Bangladesh.
|Source: Standard and Poor Global Portal|
There are two basic reasons why poor countries are bearing the brunt of climate change: geography and poverty. Most of the red countries on the Standard and Poor map lie near the equator, where climate change-caused storms, flooding, and droughts will be more intense, according to media reports. India is particularly vulnerable because of its rising population and depleting resources.
India is ranked 33rd and Pakistan 39th among the most overcrowded nations of the world by Overpopulation Index published by the Optimum Population Trust based in the United Kingdom. The index measures overcrowding based on the size of the population and the resources available to sustain it.
India has a dependency percentage of 51.6 per cent on other nations and an ecological footprint of 0.77. The index calculates that India is overpopulated by 594.32 million people. Pakistan has a dependency percentage of 49.9 per cent on other nations and an ecological footprint of 0.75. The index calculates that Pakistan is overpopulated by 80 million people. Pakistan is less crowded than China (ranked 29), India (ranked 33) and the US (ranked 35), according to the index. Singapore is the most overcrowded and Bukina Faso the least on a list of 77 nations assessed by the Optimum Population Trust.
Standard and Poor has ranked 116 nations according to their vulnerability across three indicators: proportion of population living lower than 5 meters (16 feet) above sea-level, share of agriculture in economic output and a vulnerability index compiled by Notre Dame University. It ranks India at 101 and Pakistan at 94 while Bangladesh is ranked at 114 along with Vietnam at 115 and Cambodia at 116 as the most vulnerable among 116 countries. China is ranked at 82. Among African countries listed as most vulnerable are Senegal (113), Mozambique (112) and Nigeria (109).
Standard and Poor's analysts led by Moritz Karemer warned that global warming “will put downward pressure on sovereign ratings during the remainder of this century,” “The degree to which individual countries and societies are going to be affected by warming and changing weather patterns depends largely on actions undertaken by other, often far-away societies.”
Both India and Pakistan have seen recurring droughts and massive flooding in recent years which have resulted in large numbers of deaths and injuries in addition to property losses. India has seen one farmer commit suicide every 30 minutes over the last two decades.
The fact is that the developing countries facing huge costs from climate change can do little to control it without significant help from the rich industrialized nations most responsible for it. The World Bank is warning that this could lead to massive increases in disease, extreme storms, droughts, and flooding. Unless concerted action is taken soon, the World Bank President Jim Kim fears that the effects of climate change could roll back "decades of development gains and force tens of more millions of people to live in poverty."
Climate Change Worsens Poverty in India
India's Rising Population and Depleting Resources
Recurring Droughts and Flooding in Pakistan
An Indian Farmer Commits Suicide Every 30 Minutes
Growing Water Scarcity in Pakistan
Political Patronage in Pakistan
Corrupt and Incompetent Politicians
Pakistan's Energy Crisis
Culture of Tax Evasion and Aid Dependence
Climate Change in South Asia
US Senate Report on Avoiding Water Wars in Central and South Asia