How Climate Action can Help Tackle India's Unemployment Crisis

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From being the fastest-growing major economy in the world a year ago, the focus in India has suddenly shifted to the stuttering economic growth. In Jul-Sep, the GDP expanded by just 4.5% against 7.1% in the same quarter last year. The September quarter GDP growth rate was the slowest in the last six years. India is a young country with around 12 million youth entering the workforce every year. A slow GDP growth doesn’t generate adequate jobs for the booming young population of the country.

 

 

Source: India Today

Unemployment Crisis in India

As per the data from the Periodic Labour Force Survey of the National Sample Survey Office, the unemployment rate in the country was at a 45-year high of 6.1% in 2017-18. Even though officials downplayed the comparison with the previous years due to a change in methodology, diminishing scope of finding meaningful jobs cannot be ignored. The PLF survey throws up interesting details on the nature of Indian unemployment. Rural males form the biggest chunk of the Indian workforce and unemployment among the group is four times the average for the 40 years up to 2011-12. Besides males in rural areas, the decreasing participation of females in the workforce is another major factor for rising unemployment. Unemployment often leads to individuals cutting back on essential spends such as education and medical care. One can take a personal loan in times of need to cover education or medical care costs or even wedding and travel expenses. Bajaj Finserv Personal Loan, available on Bajaj Markets, can be availed conveniently and gets approved within three minutes. Rising unemployment in India is a reality, but what is fueling it?

A host of factors such as low productivity levels, inadequate private investments, slowing consumption and subdued global growth can be blamed for falling GDP growth and rising unemployment. However, by connecting the dots one can safely term climate change as a major factor behind rising unemployment and tackling it can improve the situation.

 

 

Source: The Economic Times

How climate change impacts employment?

The negative effects of climate change on livelihoods has been well documented. Workers in developing countries like India are one of the most vulnerable groups anywhere in the world. A dramatic change in climatic conditions has led to a decline in rural productivity. Ecological factors such as erratic rainfall, land degradation and drop in water levels have increased the cost of agriculture and reduced its viability. Even though the contribution of agriculture to the Indian GDP is 18%, it employs over half of the total workforce. Moreover, rural India is a significant market for a variety of other sectors such as FMCG and automobiles. Subdued rural demand has led to a slowdown in various sectors, which has forced companies to cut jobs. Unstable agricultural production also affects the demand for agricultural labour, fueling rural unemployment. Improvement in agricultural productivity through climate action will automatically reduce unemployment.

Clean Job Opportunities

With the negative impact of climate change becoming apparent, a huge global industry to reverse its impact has emerged. Companies, governments and multinational agencies working to mitigate the impact of climate change are creating millions of ‘clean jobs’ every year. In 2018, the renewable energy sector created 11 million new jobs globally, according to a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency. Nearly 7.2 lakh jobs were created in India, with 3.5 lakh in the hydropower sector and 1.15 lakh in the solar energy sector. With the current capacity of 83 GW and a target of 175 GW of installed clean energy capacity by 2022, the renewable energy sector is expected to generate millions of jobs in the near future.

Renewable energy sources are just a part of the broader climate action plan. Environment conservation programmes like soil and water conservation, reforestation and small-scale irrigation have the potential to create additional employment. Currently, the bulk of work awarded under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, the government’s flagship employment scheme, is related to the improvement of rural productivity through soil and water conservation projects. If the scope of the programme is further expanded to include conservation and protection of the environment, it could create additional jobs.

Conclusion

Climate change has a detrimental effect on employment opportunities, but it is not immediately apparent. Governments across the globe have a duty to mitigate climate change. But India, with millions living in poverty, has an added responsibility towards climate action as climate change has a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable sections of the society. Besides the poorest of the lot, unemployment forces even middle-class individuals to reduce their essential expenses. You can apply for a personal loan to tide over the urgent need of liquidity during unemployment. Bajaj Finserv Personal Loan, available on Bajaj Markets, comes with flexible tenures of 12 to 60 months and gets approved within three minutes. A personal loan can be availed conveniently and can help you take care of pressing issues like tuition fees or a medical bill.

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