This year’s Economic Survey published by the finance ministry has a stark message: climate change can dent farm incomes by as much as 25% in rain-fed areas over the medium term. Given that roughly 50% of India’s workforce is employed in agriculture, this is a big risk factor.
Our ability to mitigate the impact of climate change depends partly on global action to fight climate change. But it also depends on what actions the government takes to fight climate change, and to invest in climate mitigation efforts.
India’s record so far has been a mixed one. Over the past few years, the government has been very successful in imposing new taxes ostensibly to protect the environment. But it has been lackadaisical in utilizing proceeds from such taxes for fighting climate change, an analysis of budget documents show. What makes matters worse is that the resources to fight climate change are under threat since most of these were in the form of fuel taxes. Given the rise in global oil prices and a possible political backlash against further rise in fuel prices, the headroom for the government to raise carbon taxes seems to have shrunk considerably. Read More…
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