Climate Change and Social Inequality: Impacts of Climate Change on Low Socio-economic Populations in India
Awareness of Climate change and its impact is imperative to achieve sustainability in developed as well as in developing countries. Lack of awareness is a significant barrier to climate change adaptation strategies and its mitigation measures in India. The lack of public understanding and awareness of the seriousness of the climate change issue stems from several underlying societal problems- poverty, lack of access to decent education, unemployment, gender inequality, etc. In India, people belonging to uneducated backgrounds, as well as highly educated people, lack the awareness of environmental degradation and associated ecological, economic, and societal impacts. Climate impacts in India are not uniform. The populace of low socio-economic status is more vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, as they have the least adaptation potential. As this crisis escalates, the most marginalized segments of the society will be the first to suffer and that is perhaps why fighting climate change is far down in political priorities. As a consequence, climate change policies of Indian government so far has not been driven by domestic demands, but by external pressures of international relations and foreign diplomacy. This is a deeply ironic situation since India is in greater imminent danger from climate change and environmental deterioration than are the other developed affluent countries.