Prepare the Country for Consequences of Climate Change, Says Former Planning Commission Member

June 22, 2009, New Delhi
“India and neighbouring developing countries in South Asia should take preparatory steps to face the impending challenges posed to food security by climate change.”

This was the opinion of Anwarul Hoda, former member of the Indian Planning Commission. Mr. Hoda, formerly also Indian chief negotiator at the WTO, was addressing participants at a seminar on ‘Future Challenges of the International Trade Regime from South Asian perspectives’ organised by CUTS International, an NGO engaged in research and advocacy on trade and regulatory issues, in Jaipur on Monday.

Mr Hoda went on to comment that climate change is posing imminent threat to food security, especially in the tropical regions, manifested by reduced crop yields. In addition, peaking oil supply and increasing demand for energy has forced diversion of arable land to production of biofuel, leading to soaring food grain prices and its consequences. While the international trade regime might offer partial solutions to food insecurity, governments should take domestic initiatives for mitigation of damages made by climate change.

Earlier Pradeep S. Mehta, Secretary General of CUTS International, in his introductory speech, opined that policies aimed at adaptation are as important as measures for mitigation in combating climate change. A book titled ‘Reflections on Global Partnership for Development: Reality and Potential’ was also released on the occasion.

Other speakers were Rashmi Banga, Senior Economist, UNCTAD; Shaheen Rafi Khan, Fellow, Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Pakistan; and Siddhartha Mitra, Research Director, CUTS International.
For more information, please contact:
Archana Jatkar, Assistant Policy Analyst, CUTS International, 9928207628)