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Climate Change And The Macro View

Climate Change
Climate Change

Over one billion people from all over the world including India are expected to take part in events marking 54 years of Earth Day on Monday. This year the focus is on plastic pollution with a UN Treaty on Plastics close to being finalized.

But critics say there should be greater focus on the earth, which is warming faster than expected climate scientists are warning that last year, close to half the days were in excess of 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than the period 1850-1990. Two days in November 2023 were warmer by 2 degrees centigrade for the first time.

Challenges also persist with huge biodiversity loss. The impact of climate change, especially in some of the climate-stressed areas like the Himalayan ecosystems, is a major concern. Also, India’s 7500-km of coastline is facing erosion, with the east coast affected to the tune of 38%. That’s according to data compiled by the National Centre for Coastal Research.

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Relevant here is the singular lack of interest the rich countries have shown in helping the poorer countries of the Global South fight climate change. A promise of $100 billion every year made in 2015 remains unfulfilled. Some say the Global South should appeal to the International Court of Justice.

India has set 2070 as the date for when it will achieve net zero carbon emissions. It is investing heavily in renewable energy, is pushing the case for nuclear power and working with industry to ensure less carbon emissions. But the road ahead is a hard one and when the rich countries have shown no inclination to change their carbon intensive lifestyles, putting pressure on poor countries to do more on climate change is unfair.