India among most vulnerable to climate change; poor air quality threatens economic development

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Published: November 4, 2019 5:32:51 PM

A new report alludes to India’s weak condition, putting the nation at 80th position in climate change, high populism, high protectionism, and other disruptive forces.

pollution, air quality, AQI, aqi, populism, bloomberg, protectionism, economic challenges, competitivenessIndia is even more exposed to new challenges such as climate, than China. The late developers will have a more difficult time catching up. (Bloomberg image)

The poor air quality across India’s major cities is hurting more than the health of the people — it is putting the country’s future sustainable growth and development at risk. A new report alludes to India’s weak condition, putting the nation at 80th position in climate change, high populism, high protectionism, and other disruptive forces. Among the major economies, India and Vietnam are the most vulnerable countries, being low and middle-income economies with high temperatures, reliance on agriculture, a high population, and limited resources to adapt, shows the New Economy Drivers and Disrupters Report, published by Bloomberg. The report ranks 114 countries on their vulnerability to evolving concerns such as climate change.

The report uses benchmarks such as populism, protectionism, and climate change, to measure economic competitiveness. India outperforms most economies on traditional drivers of development, such as infrastructure and investments. But, there is a barrier to rapid development. The report finds that India is even more exposed to new challenges such as climate, than China. The late developers will have a more difficult time catching up.

Even among the BRICS nations, Bloomberg’s Index shows that, except China, other nations will have additional difficulty. The findings of the report have come at a time when New Delhi, the capital city of India, has been engulfed under heavy smog, and the quality of air has deteriorated to worse than a hazardous level. In fact, at some places like Ghaziabad, the AQI (Air Quality Index) has touched a level of 2500, which is five times more than the hazardous level.

While sustainable development is one of the most discussed topics worldwide, its implementation on the ground is not satisfactory, the report shows. Fresh air and water were considered to be the gift of nature, but are now becoming increasingly scarce, difficult to fetch, and worsening in quality.

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