Heaven Mail National Bureau
Climate change is fast emerging as burning issue for entire humanity. India is also taking rapid strides to address the key climate change concerns. Climate change is going to have adverse impacts on agriculture sector, which hits hard global food security and can push billions into hunger.
Climate is the average weather in a place over many years. Climate change is a shift in those average conditions.
Why climate change is happening
The rapid climate change we are now seeing is caused by humans using oil, gas and coal for their homes, factories and transport.
When these fossil fuels burn, they release greenhouse gases – mostly carbon dioxide (CO2). These gases trap the Sun’s heat and cause the planet’s temperature to rise.
The world is now about 1.1C warmer than it was in the 19th Century – and the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen by 50%.
PM Modi led Government is taking the issue of climate change very seriously.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UN secretary general Antonio Guterres last month launched Mission LiFE, a global initiative by India to combat climate change and make it a people’s movement across the world.
PM Modi said at a time when the world is being sought to be divided into rival and antagonistic blocks, the mission can be a unifying bond as he highlighted the need for all countries to come together to address the “emergency” of climate change. Mission LiFE aims to change people’s collective approach towards sustainability.
President Droupadi few days back flagged climate change as a major challenge to human rights in future and pitched for inclusion of environmental dimension of justice in its fold.
Poor nations at the receiving end
People in poorer nations are going to pay a very heavy price for the degradation of environment. We must consider environmental dimension of justice now. President Droupadi Murmu was speaking at an event organised by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to mark the Human Rights Day. She said over the past few years, the world had suffered from a high number of natural disasters caused by unusual weather patterns.
States serious on climate change
State after State in India is now taking Climate change issue seriously.
Tamil Nadu is set to become the first state to launch its own Climate Change Mission. It had launched the Green Tamil Nadu Mission last September and the Tamil Nadu Wetlands Mission this August. A Special Purpose Vehicle–the Tamil Nadu Green Climate Company (TNGCC)–will implement the State Climate Action Plan.
Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin said that the state is set to achieve carbon neutrality much ahead of the national target of 2070.
“Our government views climate change as a major humanitarian crisis. We have taken various measures to protect the environment after assuming power. Global warming has occurred due to high carbon emissions. Many scientists have said the world should reach carbon neutral by 2050. Last year in COP26 the Indian government declared that it will become carbon neutral by 2070. Let me assure you that Tamil Nadu will achieve carbon neutrality before that,” Stalin said.
Kerala aims to reduce 57,000 kilotonne carbon emissions by 2030 to combat climate change. The state will coordinate projects worth Rs 52,238 crores for this. It has been also recommended to provide subsidies for electric vehicles.
Risks faced in J&K
Experts from time to time have warned that in Jammu and Kashmir Flash floods, cloudbursts and unusually high temperatures in Jammu and Kashmir are blamed for a loss of livestock, damage to infrastructure and dozens of deaths in what are seen as manifestations of global warming and human-caused climate change.
The all important Glaciers in Kashmir are seeing havoc due to the climate change.
The Himalayas in Kashmir have lost 23 percent of their area since 1962. Satellite images show that the largest glacier in Kashmir, Kolahoi has witnessed a glacier area change from 1980 to 2015 with decline in length by 10%, reduction of glacier boundary (aerial surface) by 13.5% and a loss in volume by 18%.
Satellite data also reveal that from 1972 to 2019, a 29% loss is seen in the area of Machoi Glacier, which is the source of River Sindh.
The heatwave of April 2022
One also needs to bear in mind that India was plunged into the grip of a punishing early spring heatwave in April 2022 that brought the country to a standstill. Temperatures in the national capital, New Delhi, topped 46 degrees Celsius. This brought the climate change to focal position.
Already in Path breaking development, its pledges – known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) – India has said it will reduce the emissions intensity of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 45% by 2030.
This is a measure of the amount of greenhouse gas emitted per unit of economic activity. India now has a more ambitious target than the 33-35% cut which was set before COP26.
Certainly, climate change can bring havoc and hazards both to India and the entire world. Hence the government is taking the climate change issue seriously.
India was plunged into the grip of a punishing early spring heatwave in April 2022 that brought the country to a standstill. Temperatures in the national capital, New Delhi, topped 46 degrees Celsius