Adaptation and Resilience

Adaptation
and Resilience

SFC Perspectives Paper

Building systems that allow India to adapt to multiple and increasingly severe climate impacts

India’s development hinges on managing a range of intensifying climate impacts: extreme heat, an eroding coastline, melting glaciers, and urban flooding, among others. These threats will impose upon the lives of an already vulnerable population by diminishing their incomes, increasing healthcare costs, and stifling intergenerational progress. We aim to help forestall these effects by improving governance systems that create and implement climate adaptation policies.

Our current research seeks to improve resilience to extreme heat and coastal erosion by identifying gaps in policy structures and local implementation. We work with sub-national partners to improve policy implementation. We study under-researched systemic levers such as how India’s federal structure can be improved to respond to growing climate impacts, integrating locally-relevant climate science into decision-making processes, and assessing the long-term social consequences of increasingly severe climate events.

Our publications

This also includes publications by SFC team members in their past capacities.

Impact of heatwaves on all-cause mortality in India: A comprehensive multi-city study (Environment International)

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Synergistic Impact of Air Pollution and Heat on Health and Economy in India (Springer)

Abinaya Sekar, Rajat Sharma and Annanya Mahajan

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Opinion: India is on the climate crisis front line. So why isn’t that an election issue?

Aditya Valiathan Pillai

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SFC Perspectives

Adaptation and Resilience

Climate Policy

Energy Transitions

Environmental Governance and Policy

SFC Perspectives on Adaptation and Resilience, Climate Policy, Energy Transitions, and Environmental Governance and Policy

SFC

19 March 2024

SFC Perspectives are intended to stimulate discussion by providing an overview of key issues and avenues for action to inform India’s sustainable development trajectory.

SFC Perspectives

Adaptation and Resilience

Perspectives on Adaptation and Resilience: Building systems that allow India to adapt to climate impacts

Aditya Valiathan Pillai and Tamanna Dalal

18 March 2024

The scale and complexity of the climate challenge merits serious consideration of systemic change, and a re-examination of what is needed for economy and society to thrive in an era of frequent, and often ravaging, climate impacts.

Opinions

Adaptation and Resilience

Heatwaves will get worse. Invest in adapting now.

Aditya Valliathan Pillai and Satchit Balsari

20 May 2023

India’s recent heat deaths are not outliers. They signal a dismal future unless we start taking the urgent threat of heat seriously.

Books and book chapters

Adaptation and Resilience

Climate Governance and Federalism in India

Aditya Valiathan Pillai and Navroz K Dubash

11 May 2023

The chapter puts forward a synthetic account of the forces shaping climate governance in India’s federal architecture, building on descriptions of environmental federalism; state actions in climate policy; and several recent policy moves by both the Centre and states.

Opinions

Adaptation and Resilience

The gaps in India’s ‘heat action plans’

Aditya Valiathan Pillai

26 March 2023

​​The Indian government’s primary policy response to the life-threatening heat comes in the form of “heat action plans”. These plans urge a healthy mix of different solution types but most plans do not account for local context, are underfunded and are poor at identifying and targeting vulnerable groups.

Opinions

Adaptation and Resilience

Forging a national consensus on climate adaptation is key

Aditya Valliathan Pillai

7 September 2022

Adaptation is best seen as a long-term anti-poverty measure whose policy relevance grows as the zone of climate vulnerability expands on the Indian map

Opinions

Adaptation and Resilience

Karnataka’s crumbling coastline shows climate battles are political

Aditya Valiathan Pillai

30 March 2022

As the sea ravages coastal settlements, seawalls are springing up. But real solutions lie elsewhere, far away from the coast.

Opinions

Adaptation and Resilience

जलवायु संकट में भारत की संघीय प्रणाली की पुनर्कल्पना

Parth Bhatia, Navroz K Dubash et al.

15 March 2022

सभी देशों की तरह भारत के लिए भी, जलवायु परिवर्तन एक अत्यंत तेजी से बढती समस्या बन गई है। इस लेख के जरिये पिल्लई एवं अन्य तर्क देते हैं कि इस समस्या के समाधान के लिए भारत की संघीय प्रणाली की पुनर्कल्पना करने की आवश्यकता है, क्योंकि भारत के संविधान में जलवायु संबंधी कई क्षेत्रों में राज्यों के महत्वपूर्ण कर्त्तव्य निर्धारित किये गए हैं। वे जलवायु नीति में संस्थागत सुधार हेतु एक नए दृष्टिकोण का सुझाव देते हैं, जो राष्ट्रीय लक्ष्यों के लिए अपने कार्यों का समन्वय करते हुए राज्यों को पर्याप्त लचीलापन देगा।

Opinions

Adaptation and Resilience

Reimagining Indian federalism in the climate crisis

Parth Bhatia, Navroz K Dubash et al.

7 February 2022

Addressing the issue of climate change requires reimagining Indian federalism, as the Indian Constitution gives states a crucial role in several arenas of climate action. The authors propose a new approach to institutional reform in climate policy, one that gives states adequate flexibility while coordinating their actions for national goals.

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Team members

Aditya Valiathan Pillai

Fellow and Coordinator,
Adaptation and Resilience

Shreya Shekhar

Research Associate, Adaptation and Resilience

Tamanna Dalal

Research Associate, Adaptation and Resilience