The World Bank Group Climate Change Action Plan (2016-2020) highlights some of the key challenges the world faces today. It identifies climate change as the most critical driver that influences development. The Action Plan recognizes the enormous task before us to feed 9 billon humans and provide housing for additional 2 billion urban population. Two of the biggest risks to human development come from availability of and access to sustainable energy and water resources. The climate change related risks from natural disasters which are already on the increase are a grim reminder that the issue needs to be discussed and dealt with not only at the government level, but equally at the community level. The COP 21 Paris Agreement identified the need for concrete actions to be taken by each nation and to deliver on the promises and set targets. These nationally determined contributions (NDCs) underline the need for sustainable and clean energy generation, transport, sustainable agriculture and sustainable urban ecosystems. In order to achieve the set ambitious goals, a cadre of qualified professionals and practitioners needs to be built, who are adequately skilled and empowered to deliver the desired results.
In recent years, climate change has emerged as both a potent threat and challenge to the human communities and biodiversity. Climate reconstructions have shown 19th century to be the century with highest rates of warming in Earth’s history (Jones and Mann 2004; Moberg et al. 2005). The annual global mean surface temperature of the Earth have reportedly warmed by about 0.61 ± 0.16°C between 1861 and 2000 (Folland et al. 2001). Such enhanced levels of climate change and global warming has significantly affected changes in glacial cover, agriculture, crop productivity, disease outbreaks, human health, human livelihoods, water availability, species phenology, species geographic ranges, vegetation structure and community composition (Telwala et al. 2013; Pandit et al. 2014; Manish et al. 2016). Under five broad sub-themes, “Critical Zone Studies”, “Climate Change & Agriculture Sustainability”, “Climate Change, Food & Nutritional Sustainability”, “Resilient Lives & Livelihoods”, and “Sustainable Energy”, the Delhi School of Climate & Sustainability would aim to encourage students to take up climate change focused inter-disciplinary courses with cutting-edge curriculums and research as potential career avenues in order to provide sustainable climate change solutions for India in the forthcoming century