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News Analysis: Climate Change and Poverty

All India Radio News Analysis: November 14, 2014

Topic: Climate Change and Poverty

World bank has released a report on climate change highlighting how it leads to food insecurity and water insecurity which eventually hits the poor the hardest.
This report is released as a preceder to UN’s IPPCC report  so that it serves as a negotiator at UN conference which shall be held at Peru.
IPCC in its report has said changes in climate has been witnessing across the globe particularly in South Asia, South East Asia including Europe and America.
Cold waves in US at this time is a clear indication.
Even though European union has come out with their declaration in greenhouse gas emission but the rest of the Governments have not been able to come to any negotiation.
US which is one among the highest in terms of per-capita carbon emission content has admitted that it is difficult on its part to compromise on its life style but ironically has been putting pressure on other countries like India where even though per capita carbon emission is low but cumulatively high.
Things get further complicated on the recent backdrop of US and China’s bilateral agreement on climate change and so the pressure will be cascaded to some other countries.
TURN DOWN THE HEAT CONFRONTING THE CLIMATE: The report which is titled on this name has coined a new term called “climate normal”, which means abnormality is the new normal. (i.e., what was yesterday’s abnormal is today’s normal)
World bank in its report has acknowledged the fact that changes which has occurred in climate cannot be reversed resulting in
– global temp has raised few notches
– water resumes changes
– change in cropping pattern
– glacial melting situation
Even though we cannot go back to the situation before the industrial age but the abnormalities has not been reflected in policies and programmes across the nation and it is business as usual
It can be at two levels
1. Global level
2. Local level
Global level: Negotiations are at mitigation level and politics of climate change is coming into play. Some of the unavoidable situation can be preventable by taking preventive steps taken at UN and UNFCC meetings
Local level: (Nations and State govt.) Here, focus should be on adaption i.e., acknowledging the climate change and accordingly adopt to these changes both urban and importantly rural areas.
For eg.- Center’s initiative for climate change in India has been taken over a decade ago but hardly any state even after half a decade has developed policy or action plan.
This shows lack of seriousness on part of the states to be responsive to the changes that is happening at the ground level because poor people in different states are suffering on account of climate change, which are likely to be :
-crop harvest has changed.
-change in river’s course
-rainfall pattern has changed.
– heat waves
Historically, responsibility of carbon emission lies with global northern countries which houses most of the developed countries. But these countries consistently over the years transferring the responsibility to the developing countries step by step through negotiations.
The report which is accused to protect the interest of the developed countries has come up with some false solutions like market solution of carbon trade which is not feasible in all the cases and deliberate energy drive like nuclear energy which is hotly debated even pushing the national security of developing countries at stake.
So the capital investment on renewable energy is one of the possible solutions and the west is moving all the technologies to the south. In a way these kinds of report, encouraged to transfer of technology and funds to south so that south is pegged not use its justifiable quota of global emission so that global north can compensate for it.