Topic of the Day – World Bank Report on South Asia’s Hotspots

UPSC Exam Preparation: Topic of the Day – World Bank Report on South Asia’s Hotspots

The World Bank has recently released its report titled “South Asia’s Hotspots: The Impact of Temperature and Precipitation changes on living standards”.


  • The report estimates how changes in temperature and monsoon patterns will affect GDP and living standards in the South Asian region.
  • It identifies “hotspots” as the states /districts where these changes will have a notable effect on living standards.
  • It has observed six countries in South Asia: Nepal, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka for the study.
  • The report looks at two scenarios:
    • climate-sensitive
    • carbon-intensive
  • Both the scenarios show rising temperatures throughout the region in coming decades. However, the carbon-intensive scenario showing greater increases.
  • The report will be useful for designing social welfare programmes by accounting for local socio-economic characteristics and climate-related risks and reorient strategies and policies targeted to hotspot inhabitants, the hidden victims of climate change.


Findings of the Report, specific to India:

  • Approximately 600 million people in India today live in locations that would become moderate or severe hotspots by 2050 under the carbon-intensive scenario.
  • India’s average temperature is predicted to increase by 1.5-3°C if no measures are taken and by 1-2°C if preventive measures are taken along the lines of the Paris Agreement by 2050
  • Rising temperatures and changing monsoon rainfall patterns from climate change could cost India 2.8% of GDP, and depress the living standards of nearly half the country’s population by 2050.
  • States in the central, northern and north-western parts of India emerge as the most vulnerable. Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, which are predicted to experience a decline in living standards of more than 9%, are the top two ‘hotspot’ States in India, followed by Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Maharashtra.
  • Of the top 10 most affected hotspot districts, 7 are in Vidarbha, Maharashtra and the remaining 3 in Chhattisgarh and MP.
  • In the absence of major climate mitigation, nearly 148 million Indians will be living in these severe hotspots in 2050


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