Climate change to displace 125 million from India, Bangladesh

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Kochi, Mar 25 (UNI) Nearly 125 million people in India and Bangladesh will be displaced due to increasing greenhouse gas emissions under the 'business-as-usual' scenario across the globe by 2050, according to a Greenpeace report released here today.

The report 'Blue Alert,' prepared by Mr Sudhir Chella Rajan of the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras, says '' the global temperature would increase by 4-5 degrees Celsius, if the emissions continue to grow at the present rate, The South Asian region could face a wave of migrants displaced by the impact of climate change, including sea level rise and drought associated with shrinking water supplies and monsoon variability.

Presenting the report at a press conference here, Greenpeace official Rajesh Krishnan said the three South Asian countries -- India, Bangladesh and Pakistan -- were in the Low Elevation Coastal Zone (LECZ), which comprised coastal region that was less than 10 metres above average sea level and were vulnerable to sea level rise and coastal erosion.

As per the report, the large coastal cities like Mumbai and Kolkata were at average elevations of two to 10 metres and the majority population in these cities were likely to move to interior cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Pune and Hyderabad due to rise in sea level.

The report also pointed out that eight million of rural population in India was likely to migrate to urban areas because of their 'double exposure' to climate change and inability to adapt to global trade impacts by the end of this century.

Mr Krishnan said the global temperature should be kept below two degrees, the tipping point, to avoid a major humanitarian crisis in the region.

To tide over the impending crisis, the report recommended India to seek options, both international and global, that lead to sustainable development in a climate-challenged world, which would mean adopting an economic development that moves towards de-carbonisation.

Mr Krishnan said the report would be released in four other vulnerable coastal cities --Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai and Panaji, and a 'Blue Alert' campaign would be launched to make people aware of climate change and its consequences.

The problem should be discussed in Parliament to facilitate the policymakers to chalk out environment-friendly policies, he added.

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