The Social Impacts of Climate Change in South Asia
Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR)
Sudhir Chella Rajan
Indian Institute of Technology Madras
March 1, 2008
In this paper, we focus on an especially important set of social impacts resulting from climate change in South Asia, namely the potential displacement of vast numbers of people as a consequence mainly of sea level rise along the coasts and secondarily from drought in rural areas. We examine these impacts through the use of scenarios involving alternative assumptions about whether or not effective policies will be developed in time, given what we know now about the physical changes that are likely to take place. The climate crisis that is likely to unfold in South Asia will create profound challenges. With a 5-metre sea level rise, there will be about 125 million climate migrants in this region alone with little or no legal standing under current international law. In fact the 75 million or so from Bangladesh will be especially vulnerable, as their entire nation-state becomes non-viable as an entity, with most of its land inundated and its economy defunct.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Keywords: sea level rise, migration, South Asia, climate changeworking papers series
Date posted: May 8, 2008 ; Last revised: August 28, 2008
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