Adaptation to Climate Change in India: A Study of Union Budgets

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The implications of climate change are affecting many regions in the world
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  Oxfam India working   papers series May 2010OIWPS - I Kaushik Ganguly and Gyana Ranjan Panda Economic Justice : Climate Change  Adaptation to Climate Change in India  A Study of Union Budgets  The strategy to deal with the adverse impacts of climate change requires strategic planning and action on the part of government, particularly in a developing country like India, which needs to embark on a low-carbon growth path along with building resilience of society to adverse impacts of climate change. The male fi cent impact of climate change on the developmental prospects of less developed and developing countries is ampli fi ed enormously by the existence of widespread poverty and weather-dependent livelihood activities by signi fi cantly large number of people. The study focuses on the Union Budgets of India for the fi scal years 2006-07 to 2009-10, in order to ascertain the fi scal priorities ascribed to different sectors of adaptation and provide a robust baseline on government expenditure on adaptation in India. The expenditure on adaptation estimated by the study across all the sectors for adaptation stands at 1.7 per cent of GDP for 2006-07 which increased to 2.68 per cent of GDP as per 2009-10 budget estimates. Expenditure on human capabilities viz. poverty alleviation, health improvement and disease control and risk management, constitutes more than 80 per cent of the total expenditure on adaptation in India and scant focus is being devoted to strengthening of ecosystem services. The study also fi nds that sectors that are crucial to any adaptation intervention such as food security, rural and urban housing for the poor and educational infrastructure have received inadequate attention in the policy response on adaptation. The study concludes that resources devoted to vulnerable sectors are more development oriented and adaptation priorities in these sectors need to be identi fi ed and prioritised within the developmental allocations apart from provisioning of additional resources. Strengthening of ecosystem services should be adequately prioritised within the adaptation policy framework and community participation in management of these need to be actively promoted through policy formulations. Abstract  About this working paper: The Oxfam India-CBGA collaborative study was undertaken to understand the existing public fi nance framework and it coherence with the policy framework of the Government of India on adaptation to climate change through a study of the Union Budgets for years 2006-07 to 2009-10 on adaptation. The authors of the study are - Kaushik Ganguly and Gyana Ranjan Panda, working as policy analysts at Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA), New Delhi and can be reached at gangulykaushik@yahoo.com and panda.gyana77@gmail.com respectively. The study was peer reviewed by Dr. Purnamita Dasgupta, Institute of Economic Growth (IEG), New Delhi and Dr. Avanish Kumar, Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon Disclaimer: Oxfam India Working Paper Series disseminates the fi nding of the work in progress to encourage the exchange of ideas about development issues. An objective of the series is to get the fi ndings out quickly, even if the presentations are less than fully polished. The papers carry the names of the authors and should be sited accordingly. The fi ndings, interpretations, and conclusion expressed in this paper are entirely those of the authors. They do not necessarily represent the views of Oxfam India. Produced by:   Oxfam India                                                                                    Foreword Climate change is already devastating the lives of many poor and underprivileged people in India on a very large scale. About two thirds of Indians derive their livelihoods from climate-sensitive sectors such as farming, fisheries and forestry and the changing climate is adversely affecting their livelihood base, especially in rain-fed and flood–prone areas. It therefore becomes a paramount priority to understand these climate risks in different climatic zones and evolve a comprehensive policy framework on adaption. The global consensus on dealing with climate change and its likely consequences has been on adopting a two pronged strategy, viz. mitigation and adaptation. However, both these strategies call for investment and planning for specific vulnerabilities. Decisive action can unlock a green new deal for low-carbon transformation and for building resilience to the impacts of climate-change. In this context, we realized that the perspective on strategies to deal with climate change needs to be complemented by well-founded understanding of the role and relevance of public policies and investments in this sphere. This led Oxfam India to collaborate with the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA) to undertake an in-depth assessment of government budgets in India from the lens of adaptation to climate change. The present report, which focuses on the Union Budgets of India over the last few years, is the output of this collaboration. The Study by CBGA has highlighted a set of parameters for evaluating government budgets in the country from the lens of climate change and it has also tried to measure, based on those parameters, the responsiveness of Union Budgets to the adaptation needs emerging from climate change. The Study finds that sectors that are crucial to any adaptation interventions such as food security, health, rural and urban housing for the poor, and infrastructure for education have received inadequate attention from policymakers in India. These critical sectors need to be integrated into the country’s adaptation policy network and the policies and budgets for adaptation need to be embedded as an intrinsic part of the policies and budgets for poverty reduction programs. I hope this report would add significant value to the discourse on public policies and investments in the sphere of adaptation to climate change. Nisha Agrawal CEO, OXFAM INDIA
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