Country Background Information – India


If possible, download these two documents to your phone, so that you can refer to them later:

Key country facts


  • Taj Mahal

    The Taj Mahal is a popular tourist attraction in Agra, India. It is considered to be the greatest example of Indo-Islamic architecture and was listed as a UN World Heritage Site in 1983. Local air pollution can cause discoloration to its centuries-old white marble.

  • flooding

    Over 40 million hectares of India’s land is prone to flooding including its two main cities, Kolkota and Mumbai. As sea levels rise, by 2050 at least 40 million people are expected to be at risk.

  • Monsoon

    The monsoon season in India is from June to December. Year to year changes in the monsoon can mean flooding or drought. The impact of climate change on the Indian monsoon is as yet not clear.

    Source: Flickr / Craig Cloutier

  • Mumbai

    India is a rising economic power. Its financial and commercial centre is Mumbai where many of its industry sectors operate. These include electronics, manufacturing, and textile, contributing 25% to India’s industrial output. It is also the richest and most populous city in India.

    Source: Flickr / Puranjit Gangopadhyay / CIFOR

  • Kolkata

    Over 1 380 million people live in India and its population continue to grow at a faster pace than China. It is therefore projected that by 2024, it will overtake China as the most populous country in the world. 21% of its population is below the poverty line.

  • Wheat field

    Wheat is one of the main agricultural products of India, cultivated mostly in the Northern region. India is the second top producer of wheat in the world. Despite the existence of big commercial industries in Indian cities, more people (42%) still rely on agriculture for livelihood and employment.

  • chaturangi glacier

    The Indian Himalayan glaciers cover around 25,000 km2 of catchment area, flowing in three major river systems. Glacial meltwater is important for reservoirs and river flow. Any change in the ice cover and flow of melting glaciers can significantly affect river systems, potentially impacting water quality and availability, for domestic, agricultural and industrial use.

    Source: Flickr / Steynard

  • Indian solar power

    Solar energy is India’s top and fastest growing renewable energy resource. It currently contributes 10% to the country’s energy mix, with a generation capacity of 37 GW. In 2017, solar power became cheaper than power from coal.

    Source: Flickr / CGIAR

  • Rickshaw

    Auto-rickshaws are a popular mode of transportation in Indian cities. In Mumbai alone, there are about 200,000 of them. Air pollution from rickshaws poses health risks.

    Source: Flickr / Melanie M

  • Delhi

    The Urban Heat Island effect means that many cities, like New Delhi, experience warmer temperatures, particularly at night. The warmest places are usually concentrated in residential, industrial, and commercial zones.

    Source: Flickr / Francisco Anzola

Further Materials (higher level learners) – India

  • Climate Transparency country profile
  • India unveils climate change plan from the Guardian.
  • India’s emission history and projections from Climate Action Tracker.
  • India’s self-assessment of its vulnerability to climate change, submitted to the UNFCC in 2012 and India’s Nationally Determined Contribution (2016)
  • India: Developing Solar Energy to Meet Rising Demand for Electricity from the World Bank.
  • Why India needs to worry about climate change from the BBC
  • How India’s battle with climate change could determine all of our fates from the Guardian
  • General Information

  • Background Information from the UN
  • A good overview from the World Bank.
  • CCAFS big facts
  • En-Roads 2100 climate simulator
  • A history of climate change negotiations and another one.
  • A guide to COP21 in Paris from the Guardian.