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  • Anumita Roychowdhury
    Anumita Roychowdhury
    Executive Director, Research & Advocacy, CSE, Delhi

    Anumita Roychowdhury is the Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Centre for Science and Environment, India. She is in charge of research and advocacy on Sustainable Urbanisation that encompasses clean air, sustainable mobility and sustainable habitat. Over the last two decades she has worked extensively to shape policy advocacy on these issues and has catalyzed the Right to Clean Air campaign at the Centre. She has helped to guide and build some of the key policy campaigns on air pollution especially vehicular pollution and multi-sector clean air action planning in cities. She is working with other Indian and African cities to help shape the roadmap for clean air action plans. She has participated and played an active role in several national policy forums as well global environmental platforms. She has been participating either as a member or an advisor in various committees and forums. She has widely written and published articles, policy research papers and books. She has been awarded the prestigious Haagen-Smit Clean Air Award by the California Air Resources Board, California, USA.

  • Apekshita Varshney
    Apekshita Varshney
    Founder, HeatWatch

    Meet Apekshita Varshney, the founder of HeatWatch. Apekshita is a journalist, development sector professional and campaigner who has worked with Indian and International organisations on government and corporate accountability, sustainable urban development, and climate change. She has a Master’s degree in Urban Development Planning from University College London, where she was a Commonwealth Master’s Scholar. Apekshita founded HeatWatch with coaching and funding support from the Mira Fellowship.

  • Dr. D. Raghunandan
    Dr. D. Raghunandan
    Climate Lead, ClimACT-Chennai

    Raghunandan is an active founder-member of and volunteers with Delhi Science Forum (DSF), a reputed non-profit “think tank”. In DSF, his focus is on Environment and Climate Change, Renewable Energy, Aerospace, Defence and Strategic Studies, and the Public Understanding of Science.

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  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: Jun 28 2024
  • Time: 8:30 am

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Jun 28 2024


6:00 pm

Understanding Heatwaves and Climate Change: Challenges and Solutions for India

Heat affects us in myriad ways. It affects us individually, it affects us as a community, and it affects how our cities function daily. As global temperatures rise, the sweltering conditions in urban regions are poised to become more severe. Heatwaves are becoming a prominent extreme weather phenomenon in many Indian cities as they sit squarely in the middle of the unfolding climate crisis. Cities are experiencing a notable increase in the frequency, intensity, and duration of heat waves due to climate change. 

Indian cities are expected to face immense heat-stress over the next few years due to climate change, exacerbated by the alarming rate of disappearance of green spaces; the summer months are stretching for longer and the number of severe heat days is steadily rising. Citizens are already feeling the effects of the rising temperatures, the effects of which are being further compounded by the rising number of heat islands in the city.

It is now well-known that heatwaves pose grave risks to public health, leading to heat-related illnesses such as heatstroke, dehydration, and heat exhaustion. Vulnerable populations, including the elderly, children, outdoor workers, and those with pre-existing health conditions, are disproportionately affected. The effects of heatwaves extend beyond human health, affecting ecosystems, biodiversity, and agricultural productivity. Extreme heat stress can lead to crop failures, livestock losses, and disruptions in ecosystems, jeopardising food security and livelihoods. 

To effectively address the escalating risk of heatwaves and heat-stress in India, a multi-faceted approach is required, encompassing mitigation, adaptation, and resilience-building measures. This necessitates collaborative efforts and action. 

The risks that increasing heat waves pose has led us to organise a series of three webinars on the challenge of heat that cities increasingly face. The three webinars are part of Habitat Forum INHAF’s Webinar Series called Rethinking Cities and initiated under INHAF’s ClimACT Chennai Project. 

Understanding Heatwaves and Climate Change: Challenges and Solutions for India

As the global climate continues to warm, heatwaves have become an increasingly severe and frequent threat, particularly in regions like South Asia. This webinar aims to bring together experts, policymakers, and stakeholders to explore the science of heatwaves, their predictions, and their profound impact on public health and urban environments. Our focus will be on the unique challenges faced by Peninsular India and the broader South Asian context, with a spotlight on the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect and responses, strategies, and action plans for mitigating heat-related risks.

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