India - Building Climate Resilience and Business Continuity
India is undergoing vast and rapid urbanisation, with the country’s urban population set to account for 75 percent of India’s GDP by 2020. The importance of India’s urban centres and the need for adequate security to ensure the benefits of urbanisation are safely realised is underlined further by the Modi administration’s Smart Cities initiative. However, the impacts of climate change – in India and regionally – make this challenging, while the process of urbanisation is increasing vulnerability for people and businesses to extreme weather events.
- According to a recent assessment by the United Nations’ Global Environmental Outlook (GEO-6), an estimated 1.02 billion people – 82 percent of the population – are exposed to environmental hazards.
- Coastal and rural communities are most exposed to the impact of environmental hazards, though urban areas are at increasing risk, where negligent building standards and substandard planning compound the hazards posed to personnel.
- While the Indian government has introduced numerous positive measures to boost urban resilience, deepening climate change is set to present a serious challenge to growth and development.
- Businesses operating in India need to bolster resilience to operational and physical risks to ensure business continuity. There is need not only for preparedness, but a requirement to forecast in order to understand how the many forces developing India’s economic future interact with other prevalent trends, including migration, energy and food security. Mitigation measures are fourfold; gauging exposure, building resilience and ensuring continuity, responding and recovering.
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