ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Adaptation Co-benefits of Development Programmes in India

Twelve major development programmes in five sectors are examined to see whether they enhance the country’s ability to adapt to the impacts of future climate change. The Indian government could leverage the existing development programmes to achieve adaptation goals if it establishes a framework for mainstreaming climate change adaptation, provides financial incentives for development programmes to integrate adaptation objectives, and builds institutional capacity to design, implement, and monitor adaptation activities.

The authors thank the Global Green Growth Institute for financial assistance and Bangalore Climate Change Initiative-Karnataka for their support. They also thank the Centre for Sustainable Technologies, Indian Institute of Science where this research was conducted.

India has been implementing large-scale development programmes under its national and state five-year plans. These programmes have focused on not only poverty alleviation but also livelihood diversification, natural resource management, sustainable agricultural production, rural infrastructure improvement, and connectivity. The various state governments have also created State Action Plans on Climate Change (SAPCCs) that take into account the importance of mainstreaming adaptation at state, district, and sub-district levels and across sectors.

The national and state development programmes implemented during 2012–17 have included efforts to strengthen the country’s capacity to adapt to climate variability and climate change. Thanks to their breadth, India’s development programmes have high potential to generate adaptation co-benefits. However, little empirical evidence is available to provide a basis for designing programmes to include effective and efficient adaptation components. There is also little empirical information on which approaches and methodologies are most useful to assess the extent and efficiency of the adaptation co-benefits produced by development programmes. In contrast, there is plenty of literature on concepts, strategies, and plans for adaptation (IPCC 2014).

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