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Climate vulnerability index by CEEW

Date: 29 October 2021 Tags: Reports & Indices


 Climate Vulnerability Index (CVI) has been brought out by environmental think tank Council on Energy, Environment and Water.



Vulnerability to extreme weather events such as cyclones, floods, heat-waves, droughts, etc has been assed across 640 districts in India.



The study will look at combined risk of hydro-met disasters instead of looking at the climate extremes in isolation. Other natural disasters such as earthquakes are not considered.



  • Exposure: Whether the district is prone to extreme weather events

  • Sensitivity: Likelihood of an impact on the district by the weather event

  • Adaptive capacity: Response or coping mechanism of the district



It will help in mapping the critical vulnerabilities and plan strategies to improve resilience and adapt by climate-proofing communities, economies and infrastructure.


Need for climate vulnerability index

  • Extreme weather events have been occurring regularly in the country. India is currently the seventh-most vulnerable country with respect to climate extremes.

  • Super cyclone Amphan, landslides and floods in Uttarakhand and Kerala have been all part of extreme climate.

  • Large number of districts in India are becoming extreme event hotspots. About 40 percent of districts are showing swapping trend.

  • This means that traditionally flood-prone areas are witnessing more frequent and intense droughts and vice-versa. 


Major findings

  • States such as Assam, Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh are most vulnerable to extreme events such as floods, droughts and cyclones.

  • Climate vulnerable districts in India include Chennai in Tamil Nadu, Gajapati in Odisha, Vizianagaram in Andhra Pradesh, Khammam in Telangana, Demaji and Nagaon in Assam.

  • More than 80 percent citizens live in districts vulnerable to extreme climatic events. About 60 percent districts have medium to low adaptive capacity in handing extreme weather events.

  • Kerala and west Bengal are best performing states, despite both being coastal states and dealing with the threat of cyclones and floods annually.


Reasons for increasing threats

  • Land disruptions caused by anthropogenic activity are considered the major reason.  This includes change of land use, increased construction, reclaiming of land for development.

  • Destruction of forests, wetlands, mangroves etc have further enhanced threats. This is because they acted as natural buffer against weather extremities.



  • Developing high-resolution Climate Risk Atlas (CRA) to map critical vulnerabilities at the district level.

  • Setting up centralized climate-risk commission to coordinate the environmental de-risking mission.

  • Climate-sensitivity-led landscape restoration process has to be undertaken.

  • Infrastructure planning and climate risk profiling has to be integrated.

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