Print Friendly, PDF & Email

SANSAD TV: THE GLOBAL DEBATE: CLIMATE EMERGENCY- NEED TO ACT NOW

sansad_tv


Climate Emergency:

There is no single definition of what that means but many local areas say they want to be carbon-neutral by 2030. It’s a much more ambitious target than the UK government’s, which is to reduce carbon emissions by 80% (compared to 1990 levels) by 2050.

Sixth Assessment Report (AR6):

  • Weather and climate events – such as extreme heat, heavy rainfall, fire conditions, and droughts – are becoming more severe and frequent because of climate change.
  • The report finds we are already edging closer to a 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer world, and every day emissions rise the prospects for averting the worst impacts of climate change become dimmer.
  • Carbon dioxide has been and will continue to be the dominant cause of global warming under all greenhouse gas emissions scenarios.
  • It says, if greenhouse gas emissions are halved by 2030 and net zero by 2050, global warming can be stopped.
  • Also, IPCC report vindicates India’s position that historical cumulative emissions are the source of the climate crisis that the World faces today.

Major Concerns:

The report highlights that our climate is rapidly changing due to human influence and is already altering our planet in drastic ways

  • Arctic Sea ice is at its lowest level in more than 150 years;
  • Sea levels are rising faster than at any time in at least the last 3,000 years; and
  • Glaciers are declining at a rate unprecedented in at least 2,000 years.

Failures on our end:

  • This proposal, which demonstrates the will of the Commons on the issue but does not legally compel the government to act, was approved without a vote.
  • The governments are not acting sufficiently and actively to tackle this issue
  • The commitment of environment action particularly climate has come down.
  • Every assessment of climate change which we are receiving is more and more alarming than the previous one.
  • Response to the lack of action particularly in the West.
  • After 2015 Paris agreement= we have slided down on many parameters across the world
  • Change in Attitude is noticed:
    • 1980-92= movement rapid because of NGOs which lead to UNFCCC, Kyoto Protocol.
    • 2008= economic crises, emigration in Europe raised due to which government lost enthusiasm and public pressure too came down.
    • 2014= Weak Paris Agreement
    • Present= public opinion and pressure is back.
  • It is the very serious issues which the civilized, contemporary, industrial world is facing for which we donot have solution.

Consequences of Climate Change:

  • With the planet to experience further warming from the heat held by the oceans, there is increasing international focus on meeting the United Nation’s Paris Agreement which was signed by 197 countries in 2016. This ground-breaking agreement has the ambitious global aim of preventing global temperatures from reaching 2˚C above pre-industrial levels (the late nineteenth century) by 2100, and ideally should be no more than 1.5˚C.
  • From economic point of view too it is going to cost us a lot.
  • 2021 records to be the warmest year and worst calamities we have seen like cyclones, drought, hot spots events, wild fires etc.
  • Threat to global biodiversity.
  • Water table falling, glaciers melting, pollution are some of the other consequences.
  • Immediate impact on water system and agriculture

Meanwhile!

  • There is a change in market system, investment in renewable sector exceed than that of fossil fuel which is a welcome step.
  • We are now focusing on electric vehicles and energy efficiency.
  • Markets, corporations and public are moving faster in a positive way in many areas to tackle the issue.

Major initiatives of the Government towards combating climate change:

  • National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC): The Action plan covers eight major missions on Solar, Enhanced Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Habitat, Water, Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem, Green India, Sustainable Agriculture and Strategic Knowledge on Climate Change.
  • International Solar Alliance (ISA)
  • State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC): State governments have drafted climate strategies aligned with the eight National Missions under the NAPCC. The strategies focus on issues ranging from climate mitigation, energy efficiency, and resource conservation to climate adaptation.
  • FAME Scheme for E-mobility: Union Government in April 2015 launched Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric vehicles (FAME) – India Scheme with an aim to boost sales of eco-friendly vehicles in the country. It is a part of the National Mission for Electric Mobility.
  • Atal Mission for Rejuvenation & Urban Transformation (AMRUT) for Smart Cities.
  • Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana: The scheme provides LPG connections to five crore below-poverty-line beneficiaries. The connections are given in the name of women beneficiaries to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and conventional fuel like cow dung for cooking food, thus reducing air pollution.
  • UJALA scheme: The scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January 2015 with a target of replacing 77 crore incandescent lamps with LED bulbs. The usage of LED bulbs will not only result in reducing electricity bills but also help in environment protection.
  • Swachh Bharat Mission

Solutions:

  • Localized level work.
  • We have technology but need to work on R and D to reach our targets.
  • The real challenge is to get other developed countries on board.
  • Wealthy nations like the U.S., and those of the EU argued that emissions from developing countries are consistently rising and they need to commit to more serious emission cuts. A consensus needs to be developed at the earliest.
  • Ban on single use plastic will be one of the game changer
  • The ‘developing versus developed country’ schism needs to be diluted at the earliest and Developed Countries should avoid watering down the CBDR principle envisaged in earlier agreements.
  • We should not treat climate change as an environmental problem but need to address it as developmental challenge.
  • Investment in R&D is needed to spur innovations in sustainable climate-friendly and climate-proof productivity, and the private sector can help on this.
  • It is not power or energy sector which is responsible for today’s scenario but even land use changes which is far more serious too.
  • Every sector has to work in a time bound manner.
  • We need to take action regardless of what international agreements are.
  • Infrastructure should be planned taking into consideration climate change.
  • Research needs to be done on system of agriculture which accounts for 24% of carbon dioxide emission.