As told to Parliament (March 20, 2023): Rainfed rice can go down by 20% in 2050 in absence of climate adaptation

All that was discussed in the House through the day

By DTE Staff
Published: Tuesday 21 March 2023

Climate impact on agriculture

The yields of rainfed rice in India are projected to reduce by 20 per cent in 2050 and 47 per cent in 2080 in the absence of adaptation measures, according to a study by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Minister of State for the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, told the Lok Sabha. 

ICAR studied the effects of climate change on agriculture sector under flagship project National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA). Yields of irrigated rice are projected to reduce by 3.5 per cent in 2050 and 5 per cent in 2080, the study found.  

Climate change is projected to reduce wheat yield by 19.3 per cent in 2050 and 40 per cent in 2080 with significant spatial and temporal variations. Kharif maize yields can reduce by 18 per cent in 2050 and 23 per cent in 2080, the minister said. 

Wetlands in Kashmir

Wetlands in Kashmir are impacted by siltation in catchments and urbanisation in the fringe areas, Choubey told the Lok Sabha.

Flood embankments in most of these wetlands act as boundary demarcation saving them from encroachments in the shape of settlements, the Jammu & Kashmir has informed, the minister said. 

“The details of urbanisation, siltation and increasing pollution in the catchment area of 8 Nos. Wetland Conservation Reserves under the Wildlife Protection Department in Kashmir Region has been studied, analysed and remedial measures prescribed under Integrated Management Action Plan (2022-27),” Choubey said.

Plastic waste

A total of 6,186 producers, importers and brand owners (PIBO) of plastic packaging have been registered on the Centralized Online Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) portal, Choubey told the Lok Sabha. 

The registered PIBOs cumulatively have around 2.32 million tonnes of plastic packaging covered under EPR for 2022-23, including plastic packaging for food. 

Further, 1,715 plastic waste processors are also registered on the EPR portal with a cumulative plastic waste processing capacity of 17 million tonnes per annum, the minister said.

Coal-based industries

There are about 7,760 fuel-based industries presently operating in the National Capital Region and 4,082 industries are running operations with piped natural gas (PNG), Choubey told the Lok Sabha. 

The rest are now running on biomass-based fuels or fuels other than PNG, including coal. 

Only about 320 industrial units across the entire NCR have temporarily ceased their operations on their own beyond December 31, 2022, till they migrate to cleaner fuels as per the approved fuel list, the minister said. 

Landslides and cloudbursts 

Prediction of cloudbursts is a challenging task due to their small size, short duration and sudden development of thunderstorms, Choubey told the Lok Sabha. The complexity of associated atmospheric processes, which prevail in tropical regions like India, also makes it difficult. 

Cloudbursts are short-lived extreme weather events in which heavy rainfall occurs over small areas (20-30 square kilometres ) quickly (100 millimetres/hour). Cloudbursts are not predictable across the world, the minister said.

In India, they occur during the monsoon season over orographically dominant regions like the Himalayan region, Northeastern states and Western Ghats. 

High-resolution numerical weather prediction models are also available with the Indian Meteorological Department to provide forecasts on thunderstorms in short range. 

The warnings are provided to the state governments and the general public through various modes, including social media, to take precautionary measures, Choubey said.

Erosion of coastline

About a third, or 33.6 per cent, of the Indian coastline is vulnerable to erosion, National Centre for Coastal Research under the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences has found, Choubey told the Lok Sabha. 

The agency monitored the shoreline changes for the entire Indian coastline using multi-spectral satellite images along with field-surveyed data for the period 1990-2018. It found that 26.9 per cent of the coastline was under accretion (growing) and 39.6 per cent was stable, the minister added.

Methane emissions

Almost 60,000 gigagrammes of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) reached landfills in India, according to the Third Biennial Update Report submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2021.

The 59,372 gg of MSAW led to emissions of 754 gg of methane in 2016, Choubey told the Lok Sabha.

Savings by ethanol blending

Public Sector Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have saved 433.6 crore litres of petrol on account of ethanol blending during the Ethanol Supply Year (ESY) 2021-22, Rameswar Teli, Minister of State in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas told the Rajya Sabha.

One litre of ethanol displaces one litre of petrol on a volumetric basis equivalent quantity of petrol is saved due to ethanol blending, the minister said. This has led to savings of more than Rs 20,000 crore of foreign exchange, he added. 

CNG pumps

The number of CNG pumps in the country has increased from 3,092 in 2020-21 to over 5,100 now, Teli told the Rajya Sabha. 

The total consumption of CNG in the country, including Haryana, up to Q4 of 2022-23 (April-December) was 5,203.75 million standard cubic metres, according to the consumption data provided by Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell. 

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