Earth’s average surface temperature has already reached to about 1.10 C, hardly leaving any scope to allow more emissions. Countries of the world need to fast accelerate clean energy transition and curtail carbon emissions to net zero.
Currently, climate change is one of the most serious challenges which is at the fore of global conversations.
The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Report released on August 3, 2021, has unequivocally held human activities as the main cause for dramatic rise in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions.
The report elaborates that a dangerous rise in Earth’s temperature and widespread changes in the climate system are rapid, intense and unprecedented in the last thousands of years.
Termed as Code Red for humanity, the report calls for emergency response and urgent action. The 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to the three scientists also links human activities to global warming.
Numerous scientific findings make it clear that climate change is anthropogenic (man-made) and its consequences in terms of extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense.
The rising global temperature and weather extremes have serious consequences on human health and survival of life on earth. The devastating wildfires in Australia, Europe, Russia, and the US, record-breaking heatwaves and extreme and deadly floods in Germany, India and China are few examples of climate induced disasters.
The Paris Agreement signed in 2015 mandates limiting of global warming to 2.0 C while making effort to limit it to 1.50 C by the end of this century. However, scientific reports including the IPCC are now advocating for capping the temperature rise to 1.50 C if we want to save humanity from rising climate catastrophes.
Earth’s average surface temperature has already reached to about 1.10 C, hardly leaving any scope to allow more emissions. Therefore, countries now need to act fast for deep and drastic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as their NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) are falling short of such expectations.
The recently held COP-26 at Glasgow in Scotland (UK) was a “make or break” opportunity for the humanity to come out with urgent and concrete action plan to curb emissions and halt the warming of the planet.
The countries at COP have for the first time agreed to accelerate efforts towards the phase-down (not phase out) of coal power and fossil fuel subsidies, set out carbon markets, commit on climate finance, reversing deforestation and reduce methane emission.
However, these efforts are not sufficient enough to reach the goal of 1.50 C by the end of the century. Many countries have committed to net zero emission goal by 2050 (India by 2070 and China by 2060) which will cover about 63% of global emissions.
The world is bracing for a climate emergency situation requiring urgent action to reduce greenhouse gases and halt warming of the planet to avoid potentially irreversible damage.
There is need on the part of countries of the world to act on a war footing to address the crisis. They must raise their global climate ambition and accelerate clean energy transition. This can be achieved by curtailing carbon emissions to net zero at the earliest possible time to control the fast rising climate emergency.
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