‘Survival Guide’ Raises Hopes


Bini Dahal

It is a well-established fact that many actions need to be taken instantly to cope with the effects of climate change on lives and livelihoods of people. In recent years, countless international conferences were organised in different parts of the world to tackle issues related to climate change. 

Such gatherings came up with many resolutions to save this planet from the growing environmental hazards. However, the implementation process has remained shallow, calling into question the fate of humanity and the world.

The United Nations has now unveiled an intensive report with an aim of ensuring the survival of Mother Earth and the humanity. As a compilation of all the climate change findings starting from 2018, the report is also termed a ‘survival guide’. The document that was presented in Switzerland by scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presents an optimistic view on climate change. It states that the world has the ability to use abundant tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create a more sustainable future. 

The report highlights several points. Firstly, it focuses on the need to reduce global warming by half within 2030. Currently, global warming is at 1.1 degrees Celsius and the effort is to ensure that it remains within the limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius because of the destructive nature of global warming. 

Then, paper presents that a healthy world can be ensured by conserving 30 to 50 per cent of the world’s lands, freshwaters, and oceans. 

It also mentions the ever-talked-about matter of financing for vulnerable countries to minimise the effects of climate change on low-income and marginalised communities.

The focus, as mentioned in the previous conferences and reports, is on cutting off carbon emissions by major developed countries in the world. The report suggests that even smaller efforts could be vital for fighting this global challenge. For instance, in a world of growing consumerism, if we are able to tweak our lifestyles even by a small percentage, that could help a lot. 

There are different sources and sectors that are high emitters of carbon. We just need to identify them and act on them. Alternatives such as cleaner energy and technologies (use of solar energy, wind energy, among others) could fill the void left by coal, oil, and gas, which are the non-renewable and huge carbon-emitting sources.

To translate the optimism of the report into real-life action, strict and ambitious measures will have to be taken. Governments have been mentioned as the centre of these initiatives. The policies that they formulate and enforce within their territories have the power to safeguard the planet and the lives of millions. Initiatives have to be taken by the people and government authorities themselves to bring about necessary transformations. It is time for all of us to get closer to nature and try to understand it better. 

Despite the growing disruptive human activities, nature has continued to show its magic and has protected us against severe impacts of global warming. Apparently, it has successfully absorbed around 54 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions through the world’s oceans, plants, animals, and soil in the past ten years. 

Now is the time to return such a big favour and protect the environment at all costs. A great responsibility lies ahead of us, and time is running out. So, we need to expedite our actions and move ahead with the same level of enthusiasm to tackle global warming in one way or the other. 

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