Thursday 17 October 2019, 03:20 AM
Environmental and Security Challenges
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 4/27/2011 12:00:00 AM

 

Climate change is being recognized by the international community as a progressively incremental threat to Security. However, every country looks at their contribution to the problem (or the solution) differently. Temperature due to increase in green house gases.  It is a well known and documented fact that unsustainable consumption patterns of industrialized nations was (and still is) responsible for the threat of climate change. Only 25% of the global population lives in these countries, but they emit more than 70% of the total global CO2 emissions and consume 75 to 80% resources of the world.
Threat To India’s Security
It is said that one can not choose ones neighbors; a truth India has had to face since Independence with a bevy of un-cooperative and ambitious neighbors, like Pakistan, China , Bangladesh and few smaller countries in the neighborhood. The climatic changes and its impact when viewed from this prism take on an ominous security hue for India.
The impacts of climate change and Security:
The Impact in India would be severe due to the poverty that prevails and the worst affected would be the poor who cannot fend for themselves. Climate change would result in extreme weathers which would cause more unpredictable Monsoon, leading to severe flooding, periods of extended drought causing acute water, food and land shortages leading to conflicts a serious security concern.
Water Security
Climate change is likely to intensify the interstate race for control of water. Thousands of glaciers studded across 1,500 miles of the Himalayas make up the savings account of South Asia’s water supply, feeding a dozen major rivers and sustaining a billion people downstream. The water is already becoming a bone of contention   between India and Pakistan, with the latter feeling that India can control the water flow from Indus affecting Pakistan adversely.
Land Security
The next factor that has the potential of affecting the international relationship is availability of land which is a means of sustenance. The high frequency of unprecedented weather conditions occurring across continents has resulted in rise of the ocean levels causing interstate tensions as migration of vulnerable population from delta and hinterland of one nation to another takes place. Such an influx from Bangladesh has already caused problems for India. Mounting sea levels with consequent loss of land will create potential human disasters for the tens of millions of internally displaced people. Extremism is caused by differences in economic status of illegal human influx from Bangladesh and the original residents of various states in India are a well known fact.
Energy Security.
India’s entry in the NSG club for free trade in nuclear raw material and technology has been slow and with many a hiccups. India is working on an ambitious plan to generate about 30% of their energy needs through nuclear energy by 2020.Thus investments made in ensuring clean nuclear power generation would have to be safeguarded at all costs by India because the conventional polluting sources will no longer be available.
Food Security
Asia has the world''s largest area under cereal cultivation and is the largest producer of staple foods (FAO, 1999a). Most land that is suitable for cultivation is already in use; by 2010 per capita availability of land in developing countries of Asia will shrink from the present 0.8 ha to about 0.3 ha. In the 2050s semi-arid regions of western India are expected to receive higher than normal rainfall as temperatures soar, while central India which is the major grain producing area will experience a decrease of 10 to 20 per cent rainfall with consequent reduction in produce leading to food shortages with catastrophic human impact.
Global Concerns
There is a perception that in trying to meet the targets of slowing down the global warming, a change in the strategic importance of lead nations will emerge because a slow down in the growth coupled with slashing of emissions would put them behind the emerging economies of countries like India and China with resultant change in ‘World Order. The stark truth however is that there is no single winners in the battle against climate change as no country can remain unaffected and it is only the economic considerations that will drive the countries to adopt hard postures in the global negotiations on the new protocol.
CONCLUSION
The solution calls for a monumental redistribution of our ideas of what counts as effective international action for forestalling climate changes. It has to be concluded that the present crisis will find solutions only if the powerful realize the stakes of their power and the erstwhile powerless come to terms with the new responsibilities that come with the newly acquired power. For, in the final analysis the geo-political world scenario, and more importantly, our security concerns should not be driven by political considerations and selfish policies. The countries should always place themselves in wider international contexts and understand that the problems of the neighbour are also their own problems and that the solutions must be sought out and achieved together.


 

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Environmental and Security Challenges

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