The Sixth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued a “code red” to humanity declaring 1.5°C warming of the planet as inevitable. Although environmental health is being given importance globally, the pace of recovery is not as fast as the pace of degradation.
In India’s context, the agriculture and allied sector is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gas after energy and manufacturing sectors. Being extensively dependent on the sector, India needs to bring certain changes in its agriculture regime and introduce carbon-efficient methods of farming and livestock management.
India: Climate Change and Agriculture
India’s Position in Air Pollution: As per the World Air Quality Report, 2020, 22 of the 30 most polluted cities in the world are in India and Delhi is the world’s most polluted capital. Delhi suffers severely from air pollution during the winter months due to stubble burning in adjoining states.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) goes beyond 300 on average, with some days going as high as 600 to 800, while the safe limit is below 50.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Globally, India is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gas after China and the US, emitting around 2.6 billion tonnes CO2 equivalent annually.
India’s Sector-wise Emissions: At global level, electricity and heat production, agriculture, forestry and other land use make up 50% of the emissions.
However, India owes its largest chunk of emissions to the energy sector (44%), manufacturing and construction sector (18%), and agriculture, forestry and land use sectors (14%).