Indian scientists criticise World Bank report on climate change in Himalayas

Report lacks region specific-information; methodology used is questionable, say experts in India

A recent World Bank report recommending reduction of common pollutants like soot or black carbon and methane in the Himalayan region to slow global warming has drawn severe criticism from Indian scientists.

Reducing emissions of black carbon and methane can not only save lives by reducing air pollutants in atmosphere but also bring down ice melt which is responsible for catastrophes like Uttarakhand disaster of June 2013; and it needs solutions like using environment-friendly cooking stoves, the report had said. Though the benefits will be seen worldwide, countries around Himalayan range will capitalise on it the most, the report added.

Scientists in India say that the report does not give region-specific data and, therefore, will not have much impact on policy makers. They have indicated that combining both black carbon and methane cannot be justified as the lifespan of both is very different.

How measures can benefit the Himalayas more than other regions:
  • Annual temperature increase avoided: about 0.3°C
  • Annual premature mortality avoided: 1,238,000
  • Annual increase in staple crops: 15.4 million tonnes
  • Greatest black carbon reduction benefits: cooking stoves (about 75 per cent of impacts), road diesel and off-road mobile diesel, open burning
  • Greatest methane reduction benefits come from: oil and gas, coal mines, landfills (85 per cent of impact)
What’s missing?

Another flaw

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