India is no stranger to coping with climate extremes and natural emergencies, but this year is likely to lodge in the national memory as one of the most challenging in recent history. The Covid-19 pandemic is a global scourge, but India also has many regional and national afflictions to make 2020 a year to forget – a massive heatwave, its strongest recorded cyclone, thunderstorms bringing huge hailstones, and floods. Now it is being assailed by all-devouring locust swarms, the worst in 25 years, leaving the land scarred. Government figures showed more than 5,000 Covid-19 deaths by the end of May. The pandemic is causing a humanitarian crisis as well, with a huge reverse migration of penniless unskilled labourers who have lost their jobs in the cities and are now returning to their rural homes. Five states – Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and parts of Maharashtra – have been invaded by the locusts. The swarms normally arrive to breed in June or July but this year the first flew in in mid-April, helped to spread by a strong west wind. Climate scientists say warmer waters in the western Indian Ocean also worsened the problem. The only saving grace is that there are not many standing crops in many of the affected districts, as the monsoon sowing is yet to begin. “It is only the vegetables, orchards and trees that are the victims of this attack,” an official said.
Climate News Network 3rd June 2020 read more »
Marquee climate events like COP 26 have been notably sidelined by this year’s dramatic public health emergency. However, research projects across the globe have persisted through the pandemic, continuing to conduct their necessary work tackling decarbonisation targets across the globe. In the next two months, three more European Union Horizon 2020 projects will commence with the involvement of several Sussex Energy Group academics. Our researchers will contribute their expertise to help inform vital decisions on balancing emission reduction with social and economic goals, both within and beyond the EU.
SPRU 2nd June 2020 read more »