Thursday 26 August 2021

Severe climate change in cotton growing regions by 2040



A first of its kind global analysis of climate risks to cotton production that also analyzes the socio-economic aspects of cotton, India's cash crop.If the country's carbon emissions remain high, by 2040, a third of India's cotton areas could face higher temperatures, changes in water availability, and extreme weather instability.

A first-of-its-kind world-class analysis of climate risks to global cotton production shows that by 2040, climate change, temperature rise, changes in rainfall patterns and extreme weather events will cause more than half of the world's high-risk crop cotton planting areas. But it can also bring trouble. Under the analysis, the worst-case scenario of the climate scenario highlights the potential that all global cotton-growing regions will be at increased risk from at least one weather disturbance by 2040. While it states that increase ranges from low to high, half of the world's cotton-growing regions will face at least one or a lot of risk or drastic change.

Adapting to climate change  tittled – physical risk assessment for global cotton production which was  commissioned by the Cotton 2040 Initiative which is an international sustainability non-profit organization. Supported by the for-profit Forum for the Future and the Lord's Foundation.

The study further suggests that all cotton-growing regions of the world will continue to be at risk from at least one climate hazard until 2040. Five other large cotton producing countries – China, the US, Brazil, Pakistan and Turkey – may also go through a similar phase. In particular, increased climate risk from wildfires, drought and excessive rainfall. The overall highest climate risk is projected for two regions of the world – Northwest Africa, including northern Sudan and Egypt, and Western and Southern Asia.


Sally Uren, Chief Executive, Forum for the Future, said – The garment industry is currently heavily dependent on Indian cotton and this analysis is a time for the broader cotton industry to be alert. In order to build the region's climate resilient, a broad shift to sustainable forms of cotton production must be combined with comprehensive action to reduce carbon emissions, along with issues such as literacy, gender, digital access and financial access to social- One should also invest in the economic sector.

According to Alastair Bagley, Director, Corporates – Climate and Resilience Hub, Willis Tower Watson – most countries, including India, are far from emissions reduction commitments and targets, which means warming of more than 3°C by the end of this century. possible. No matter how successful we are with decarbonization – we will have to face inevitable climate change and upheaval in the decades to come. If we want to limit the effects of climate change on society, then preparation is necessary from today itself.

Cotton alone accounts for about 31 percent of all raw materials used in the global textile market, which together is more than $600 billion. India is the largest cotton growing country globally, with about 60 million people directly or indirectly involved in its value chain, which also includes employment of about 4 to 50 million people in the cotton trade and its processing. The majority of Indian cotton farmers or grower has small farms of less than 1 hectare. The CRVA  focused on cotton cultivation and cotton processing in 13 districts of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Telangana, the three major cotton producing states of India.

Sandhya Kranti, Project Consultant, International Cotton Advisory Council (ICAC) said – Climate change has the biggest impact on rainfed cotton production. India has the largest area under rainfed cotton in the world, as well as the largest number of cotton farmers who cultivate cotton under rainfed conditions. Any change in climate will affect the change in their livelihood, which India cannot afford.

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