Greenpeace and 50 students from various schools and colleges in the city, today, raised alarm about the increasing threat of climate change on the Indian monsoon while interacting with the public at the HUB mall in the city. They were inaugurating the week-long activity to engage the people on the issue of Climate Change and sign petitions demanding a Renewable Energy law from the newly reinstated Indian government.
The Indian monsoon which is the lifeline of the subcontinent will be significantly affected by climate change, according to a Greenpeace paper titled ‘Monsoon Wager: Climate change and the Indian Monsoon’, that was released on the eve of World Environment Day (1). “On the occasion of the World Environment day as well as the onset of the monsoon in the region, we decided to flag off the first set of activities in the city to involve the public on the issue of climate change and raise caution over the changing monsoon patterns due to it.” said Prarthana Banikya, activist from Greenpeace.
The stability and predictability of the monsoons are critical to India’s economy, society and ecology, and changes in the monsoon will have far reaching social and economic impacts. “The lives of millions of Indians, farmers, city dwellers, depend on the monsoon. Guwahati and India cannot allow the delicate balance of the monsoon to be thrown awry; we cannot afford to adapt if the monsoons are impacted, we simply have to stop that from happening”, Prarthana said. “Students from various schools and colleges in the city, along with Greenpeace will be interacting with the people in various parts of the city over the next week to inform people about the urgency to start acting on this issue” she added.
Greenpeace is carrying out the public engagement activity across various cities in the country, to drive home the point to the general public and build the support for the RE law in the country. Yesterday eight Greenpeace activists hung an 80 foot banner in Mumbai with a message to the Indian Prime Minister, that read, “Dr Manmohan Singh, Save our Monsoon” from the Mumbai-Thane bridge linking the two cities which are amongst the most vulnerable to cyclones, sea level rise and flooding in the South Asian region (2).
Greenpeace demanded that the Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh put India’s climate policy on track and urge world leaders such as Obama, Hu, Merkel, Sarkozy, Brown and Lula to do the same.
- India’s Monsoon Wager: Climate change and the Indian monsoon
- Sea-Level Rise and Storm Surges: A Comparative Analysis of Impacts in Developing Countries published by the World Bank Development Research Group Environment and Energy Team in April 2009
Prarthana Banikya, Greenpeace