Greenpeace India’s latest report follows the heatwave trends in 10 Indian capital cities: New Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Shimla, Bhopal, Patna, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Chennai.
India ranks 5th in terms of people exposed to heatwaves. In 2022 alone, India has experienced numerous heatwaves in the span of 2 months with temperatures crossing 45 degrees in some areas. In a warming climate, these heatwaves are expected to become more frequent and more deadly, as increasing temperatures bring higher humidity along with them.
Extreme heatwaves are a public health risk and should not be treated as the new normal to be experienced every summer. Those most impacted by such extreme weather will be the urban poor, street vendors, daily labourers, homeless, women and children – those who have little to no access to preventive healthcare and cannot access ACs, clean water and shelter. A failure to act on the changing climate now will only lead to more severe, deadly heatwaves with widespread impact.