The weather across India has been extreme. While large parts of India reels under severe heat wave, the situation is opposite in the North East region.
The heavy rainfall witnessed in the month of April in the region including in Arunachal Pradesh is a new phenomenon. It seems like the writing on the wall is very clear. The scorching heat wave currently sweeping large swathes of India is a grim reminder of the dangers of climate change.
Such intense heat waves, with many areas recording the hottest March temperatures in 120 years, are the clearest indicators that climate change impacts the entire world. This comes as a vindication of the warning issued by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its report two months ago about India’s vulnerabilities to extreme heat. Many parts of the country are in the grip of a severe heat wave that is impacting millions of lives as well as livelihoods. A nationwide surge in electricity demand has triggered a power crisis, putting coal supplies under considerable strain. Agriculture, the most resilient sector during the pandemic, is struggling to withstand the tough conditions. There is a general consensus among experts that extreme temperatures are directly linked to climate change. For too long, India has been slow off the blocks on this critical front. During the Climate Summit at Glasgow last November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced enhanced climate targets for India – increasing the non-fossil energy capacity to 500 gigawatts and meeting 50% of the country’s energy needs through renewable sources by 2030.
However, there are fears that this deadline will be missed as several states, including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana, are not doing enough to substantially increase their non-fossil energy capacity. It is baffling that solar energy’s vast potential remains underexploited in a country which witnesses sunny days for most of the year. The government is not making any serious efforts to promote the use of solar energy.