The Big Picture – Will Apathy of Rich Nations Derail Climate Action?
16 out of 25 analyzed that major Carbon emitting countries and regions are not on track to achieve the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) targets they have set for themselves on greenhouse gas emissions, as per a new study. The countries had promised to implement policies to reduce their Greenhouse gas emissions as per the Paris Climate Agreement. Only 9 of the 25 countries studied (such as Brazil, China, India, Japan, Mexico, the Russian Federation) are on track to achieve or even over-achieve their self-determined unconditional targets.
- The study conducted by International Institute for Applied System Analysis and two other institutions provides an overview of projected GHG emissions in 25 major emitting countries up to 2030 taking into account the emission trajectories based on their current policies and the implementation of their NDCs under the Paris Agreement.
- Paris Agreement is an agreement within the UNFCCC dealing with GHG emissions, mitigation and finance starting in the 2020. As of November 2017, Paris Agreement has 195 signatories and 170 parties. Now, even Nicaragua and Syria have recently signed the agreement leaving US isolated as President Trump has announced intentions to quit the historical accord.
- The Agreement aims at keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Developed countries had also reaffirmed the commitment to raise $100 billion a year by 2020 in Green Climate Fund.
- A recent UN report says countries have to do more from now to 2020 to achieve the above temperature targets. The developed countries need to understand the purpose of lowering the rise in temperature. The agreements of climate changes which are being discussed for several years and at the highest levels plus the works of environment scientists are for healthy living of our future generations.
- Pulling out of US from this agreement is a big blow to the entire global community as there was a big hope of the agreement getting signed up by so many countries. Developing countries have a lot of energy requirement to feed a large population and so there is an ample scope from developed countries in terms of technology transfer and Green Climate Fund.
- But, even if some of the countries do not participate in such Climate accords there is a momentum among the business communities, industries and civil societies which take environment in consideration. Better future can be seen in for example, renewable energy coming up in India.
- India, is already on tracks of reducing its emissions. It has been targeting development of solar energy and other renewables. But, it is lacking in terms of Carbon Sink (a natural/ artificial reservoir that accumulates and stores some Carbon-containing chemical compound for an indefinite period). This can be done by afforestation programmes of which government needs to keep a transparent database.
- Exiting of US can actually also be seen as an opportunity for countries like India to take a stand on global platform. Initiatives like International Solar Alliance (consisting of more than 121 countries) proposed by the Prime Minister in November 2015 are welcome steps.
- Developments of concepts like Green building, Renewable energies, use of public transport, technology transfer from developed countries for CO2 capture, etc need to be focussed upon to achieve the set targets.
To keep the hazards of increasing global warming and uneven climate changes the whole global community should work together towards a common goal. These problems may be faced more by our future generations than the present ones. Thinking should be based in an integrated way– taking nature, science, requirements, and finance into account and planning should be long-term.