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Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam in light of cimate change

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Bhavna Dahiya
Bhavna Dahiya
Graduated from St Stephen’s College, a versatile author of 'Your perception is not my reality', research author in 6 International journals, 2 National publications and have been awarded as the ‘Most inspiring writer 2021’’. Founder of I-Social and the owner of the blog named Muse and Mirth, proficient in four languages and am an awarded member of British Council. I have carved my dynamic niche in Content writing as well.
  • Is the Neighbourhood First Policy a viable solution to tackle climate change in South Asia?

“Without enduring primacy in one’s own neighbourhood, no nation can become a credible power at the global stage.”

Indian foreign policy has ‘Neighbourhood policy’ as its core constituent that seeks to establish peace, stability and synergy with the south asian countries. The policy aims to enhance cooperation amongst SouthAsian countries [ Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka ] , thereby focussing on encouraging trade, connectivity and people-to-people contact. As China’s Belt and Road vision and America’s Indo-Pacific vision compete for influence in India’s periphery, it is in India’s interests to keep the focus on reconnecting with its smaller neighbours. 

According to the Global Climate Risk Index 2019, which was presented during the Katowice summit, India and its neighbours are among the worst impacted nations in the world due to violent cyclones, heavy rainfall, and catastrophic floods.

In 2017, there were 2,726 deaths in India directly connected to extreme weather occurrences such as heat waves, storms, floods, and droughts. According to the Global Climate Risk Index 2019, India sustained an economic loss of around USD 13.8 billion last year. India is ranked 14th in terms of vulnerability. Sri Lanka came in second position, while Nepal was rated fourth in the world and Bangladesh was placed ninth. 

The poorest countries are the worst impacted. Extreme weather occurrences also pose a danger to the further growth of upper middle-income nations and can even overload high-income countries.

Floods swept over Nepal, Bangladesh, and India, affecting more than 40 million people. According to Germanwatch, up to 200 people died in these three nations, while millions were displaced throughout the area. Floods swept throughout the Himalayan foothills, causing landslides and damaging tens of thousands of homes, crops, and highways. In August 2017, Nepal witnessed flash floods and landslides along its southern border with India, causing USD 600 million in damage.

Climate Change diplomacy is very crucial for Indo-Pacific strategy to bear fruits. As part of the Neighbourhood First policy, India has been actively engaged in helping the South Asian neighbours. This strategy has twin benefits; one, it is supposed to enhance India’s soft power and it is supposed to curtail China’s meddling in South Asian affairs, in light of China’s BRI, Debt Traps and Pearl of Strings diplomacy. 

The COP26 summit highlighted the resolve of SouthAsian countries to tackle climate change as India stated not just a net-zero aim for 2070, but also, perhaps more importantly, near-term targets of 500 GW non-fossil fuel energy, 50% of installed capacity through renewables, 45% decrease in carbon intensity of its economy, and a reduction of 1 billion tonnes carbon emissions by 2030.

Pakistan’s ambitious new NDC, launched in Glasgow with World Bank help, reiterates its pledge to build no new coal power plants and prohibits the use of imported coal for energy generation. Carbon financing will play a vital catalytic role in mobilising private sector funding for thriving regional power commerce among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal. 

The answer to lowering South Asia’s contributions to global emissions levels and becoming more environmentally conscious is to decarbonise the economy.

Heavy, climate-smart investments in all sectors are critical for all nations to create resilience, accelerate economic growth, and cut emissions. 

Regional cooperation in climate and hydro – meteorological services, as well as river basin management, will enable South Asian countries to reform and harmonise climate policies, share information on collective risks and regional power market development, and build trust through technical expertise and shared connectivity.

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Bhavna Dahiya
Bhavna Dahiya
Graduated from St Stephen’s College, a versatile author of 'Your perception is not my reality', research author in 6 International journals, 2 National publications and have been awarded as the ‘Most inspiring writer 2021’’. Founder of I-Social and the owner of the blog named Muse and Mirth, proficient in four languages and am an awarded member of British Council. I have carved my dynamic niche in Content writing as well.
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