New Delhi: India must act now to prevent the country from losing USD 35 trillion in economic potential over the next 50 years due to unmitigated climate change, a new report from the Deloitte Economics Institute has said.
The report, titled ‘India’s turning point: How climate action can drive our economic future’, also reveals how the country could gain USD 11 trillion in economic value instead over the same period, by limiting rising global temperatures and realising its potential to ‘export decarbonisation’ to the world.
“We have a narrow window of time – the next 10 years – to make the decisions needed to alter the trajectory of climate change. No one is immune to the impact of climate change, but for India, this is a window of opportunity to lead the way and show how climate action is not a narrative of cost but one of sustainable economic growth,” according to Atul Dhawan, Chairperson, Deloitte India.
As India aspires to be a USD 5 trillion economy, it is not just foreign and domestic investments that will be key in driving growth, the country must also take this opportunity to align its ambitions with climate choices, he noted.
With no action taken on climate change, the average global temperatures could rise by 3 degrees Celsius or more by the end of this century. This will make it harder for people to live and work, as sea levels rise, crop yields fall, infrastructure is damaged, and other challenges emerge, threatening the progress and prosperity that the nation has enjoyed in recent decades, the report said.
Over the next 50 years, the top five most impacted industries in terms of economic activity are expected to incur a significant share of climate-related loss.
These industries — services (government and private), manufacturing, retail and tourism, construction, and transport — currently account for more than 80 per cent of India’s GDP. Together, they form the basis of the country’s contemporary economic engine, it added.
Deloitte estimates that by 2070, these five industries alone would experience an annual loss in the value-added to GDP of more than USD 1.5 trillion per year.