Climate change cost India over 2000 lives and $37 billion in just a year

  • India suffered an economic loss of $37 billion due to climate change in 2018 alone.
  • India is among the top 5 countries most affected by climate change in 2018. Japan lead the pact, followed by the Philippines and Germany.
  • Moreover, heat stress will force India to lose 5.8% of its working hours by 2030 with agriculture and construction sector suffering the most.

India suffered an economic loss of $37 billion due to climate change in 2018, according to a Global Climate Risk Index 2020. The economic loss is nearly twice than what India lost ($79.5 billion) between 1998-2017.

India ranked 5th in the top 10 countries most affected by climate change in 2018. Japan lead the pact, followed by the Philippines, Germany, and Madagascar, said the report. Over the past five years, India has always suffered one of the five highest economic losses because of climate change, reported India spend.

Top 5 most-affected countries by climate change

RankingCountryDeath tollAbsolute losses (in million US $ PPP)
1Japan128235839.34
2Philippines4554547.27
3Germany12465038.62
4Madagascar72568.10
5India208137807.82
Credits: Global Climate Risk Index 2020.

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Apart from economic losses, India also witnessed the most number of deaths due to extreme weather conditions.

India registered 2081 deaths because of climate change
In 2018, India saw 2,081 deaths — the highest in the world — because of extreme weather events like cyclones, floods, landslides, etc. India is vulnerable to climate change particularly because of low per capita income, rising social inequality, and great dependency on agriculture for livelihoods. According to the report, the worst hit regions were also the poorest ones.

“The yearly monsoon season, lasting from June to September, severely affected India in 2018,” said the report. For instance, Kerala floods — the worst in 100 years — in 2018 took 324 lives, damaged 20,000 houses and 80 dams. As many as 220,000 people were forced to migrate. The losses due to floods amounted to US $2.8 billion.Separately in October and November 2018, Title and Gaja killed 8 people and affected 450,000 people.
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Furthermore, India is also among the most affected countries by heatwaves. In 2019, several cities registered temperatures above 50°C. Chennai, a city with over a million people, ran out of water and had to take external help.
A train of 50 wagons filled with water from Jolarpet arrives at Chennai. Chennai has been grappling with an acute water crisis over the past four months. The southern metropolis is facing a daily water deficit of at least 200 million litres, and the four reservoirs supplying to the city have run dry.Photo/R Senthil Kumar)(


Heat stress will force India to lose 5.8% of its working hours by 2030. It is equivalent to slashing 34 million out of the 80 million full-time jobs world wide. Agriculture and construction sector in India will suffer the most because of this, the report said.

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