Climate Change: Are We Ready for It?

Global warming is causing havoc today… threatening the world on its gun point which is showering bullets of heat waves… melting the glaciers, continuous rise in temperature, cyclones, landslides and the list goes on…
It has been proved by our scientists long ago that climate change and Global Warming is human induced. We have been exploiting our environment since the beginning and the exploitation has definitely been an understanding one! We have been exploiting our resources most insolently and now we are here facing a climate and resources crises which are steadily taking their toll on the living beings. Population is increasing exponentially and today we are not left with our natural resources in abundance after brazenly using whatever we could lay our hands on, never thinking about recycling and reuse of products… but now, where we stand today, we are left with no choice but to think of different means of recycling, set up recycling units and wreck our brain to grab hold of the last thread of survival.
Scientists describe ‘Climate change and Global warming’ as the defining challenge of our age. Reports show that in 2007 carbon dioxide levels had exceeded as never before. The Federal Government of USA has implemented its environment policies of reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and encouraging latest technologies by government-Industry partnership through voluntary and incentive based programs. Still USA ranks first as the largest source of global GHG emissions! USA pledged to reduce 183 million metric tons per million dollars of GDP in 2002 to 151 metric tons by 2012 indicating a commitment of 18% reduction of GHG emissions over a decade. This is a slow achievement rate as compared to other countries that have ratified the Kyoto Protocol agreeing to reduce 25%-40% of carbon emission by 2020. US President George W Bush isolated America by deciding to abandon this treaty calling it a “lousy treaty” as he believes that the reduction goal is ‘unrealistic and damaging’ towards his economy. In one of his interviews he has stated that this treaty is ineffective to global warming and will bring no positive difference.
“The US is the World’s largest greenhouse gas emitter; it has turned its back on the Kyoto Protocol and has not put in place measures to limit its emissions, The Inuit are bearing the brunt” – Donald Goldberg, CIEL’s senior attorney.
As USA being one of the most important developed nation, backed out from the Kyoto Protocol, this gave a major set back to the Kyoto Protocol alliance. We are now looking forward to the COP 15 which is of the most important climate change conference of the year which will be held in December at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark. This conference will be held to mutually agree on building a framework for mitigation of climate change beyond 2012. The commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol will expire at the end of 2012. Among the proposed ideas that will be discussed at the COP15 conference, the important ones are limitation of carbon emissions, carbon capture technologies, promotion of biofuel, transfer of technology, and most importantly adaptation finance that needs to be arranged at the time of a global economic meltdown.
The COP 15 does not give a great deal of hope as the earlier ones given by the world leaders have certainly failed. In the G8 summit, leaders have agreed to cut down emission by 50% within 2050. However, these promises seem to be like empty vaunting when we remember how countries have failed to reach their specific targets of limiting emissions. Studies reveal that the announcement of Green Investments leads to significant drop of stock prices revealing the market’s near-sightedness which ignores the long-term benefits Green Investments. It is indeed a high time to adopt real measures to face the serious climate change issues.
USA has suffered an odium disdaining the mandatory limits of GHG emissions and its meagre contribution towards climate change when the world has geared up to this unavoidable issue. Environment commitment is not restricted to ones own nation but to those who stand to loose most from climate change. Every country needs to do its share to stabilize emission standards. Environment goodwill always pays in the long run.

Rituparna Mallick