Right here, right now; climate change on our doorstep

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The lake at the Futurepump factory full of water – the lake burst its banks during the flood

If you’re reading this, you’ll know that climate change is not something that’s just being taught in classrooms, discussed in boardrooms and lecture halls, at conferences, in work places and in the media around the world. Climate change is happening right now, outside, on our doorstep. Unravelling as we go about our daily lives. Just last week, we received shocking reports from Futurepump India’s factory in Rajkot, Gujarat, where 70% of annual rainfall fell within a single 24-hour period. Thankfully our team escaped unharmed, but they experienced huge disruption with the collapse of a local check-dam, site-wide evacuation and persistent power cuts.

 ‘Rajkot has never before received such heavy rains’ says Director of Futurepump India, Jitendra Lakhani. The photos and videos below – of the area surrounding Futurepump’s facility – show that the effects of climate change in Rajkot and the neighbouring Jamnagar district are, right now, extremely real. The Indian Air Force and Navy were drafted in to join the rescue and relief efforts while over 7,000 locals were evacuated and at least one person died.

Flood water in Lodhika, Gujarat

Six weeks from now, heads of state, scientists, activists and business leaders will gather in Glasgow for COP26 to unite the world to tackle climate change, accelerating action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. One of the four goals held by COP26 is adaption – adapt to protect communities and natural habitats.

‘There is no viable pathway to net zero emissions that does not involve protecting and restoring nature on an unprecedented scale. If we are serious about holding temperature rises to 1.5 degrees and adapting to the impacts of climate change, we must change the way we look after our land and seas and how we grow our food’ says COP26 President, Alok Sharma.

As it stands, we are not on track to limit global temperatures by 1.5 degrees, and adaption will play an increasingly critical theme in our global collective action. Technologies like our solar irrigation pumps will become even more critical to make that shift towards climate-resilient agriculture. With weather patterns becoming frighteningly extreme, increasingly unpredictable rains, longer dry seasons or devastating flash floods – like those we’ve seen in Gujarat – more and more crops will be lost and livelihoods damaged irretrievably. Futurepump’s products, and other similar sustainable technologies, could enable farmers most vulnerable to climate change to take back control of their irrigation and grow crops reliably all year round. 

‘There are around 500 million smallholder farms worldwide; with over 2 billion people depending on them’ explains Futurepump co-Founder Toby Hammond. ‘Small farms like these produce about 80 per cent of the food consumed in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Yet it is the people farming this land who are at the very frontline of the climate crisis. It is absolutely our duty – as the global north and nations responsible for the highest CO2 emissions – to provide the best tools, enabling these millions of farmers to adapt and cope with a changing climate.’

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