"Saving the Planet: A Look into COP 28 and the Fight Against Climate Change"

"Saving the Planet: A Look into COP 28 and the Fight Against Climate Change"

"Saving the Planet: A Look into COP 28 and the Fight Against Climate Change"

In the COP-28 meeting this year, the state representatives will sit together, formulating policies, regarding the effective counter to the issue of Climate Change the world is facing, and agreeing to implement them, but to little avail. These half-hearted efforts by the states could be better for the current times. A serious approach to the issue is required as the whole existence of life on Earth is at stake.

Environmental security needs to be perceived as a national threat by states (which, in reality, is bigger than just a national threat). Extreme temperatures, frequent and large-scale floods, droughts, the melting of glaciers, and many more events in recent years are a sign as well as a warning that a much bigger catastrophe is approaching in the near future.

The scholarly highlighting of this issue has been going on since the 1970s, as a result of which more than 195 states agreed to focus on the issue of climate security in the Paris Agreement in 2016. Since then, many actions have been taken and many are still pending. An adequate approach to the issue is still lacking.

Climate change is a natural phenomenon, that the Earth undergoes throughout tens of thousands of years. But, due to human activities in the last few centuries, the phenomenon of climate change has fastened. The change, which was not to occur before another 1000 years, has happened in just a few decades. Due to this rapid change, humans as well as all the other life on Earth, will not be able to completely adapt to the new conditions, which can even result, in extreme cases, in the extinction of life on planet Earth.

Planting trees and reducing the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from industries is not an adequate solution, as it is only delaying the disaster. The amount of GHGs released into the atmosphere per year is much greater than the capacity of billions of trees to absorb CO2. The focus of state policies needs to be averted from reducing carbon emissions to stopping the emissions and at the same time investing in alternates. Bill Gates also emphasized this in his book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster”.

Read More: 10 Things You Can Do About Climate Change

The cement and steel industries, fertilizer industries, and electricity manufacturing plants are the real emitters of GHGs, and the policies, from the government side, need to focus on these sectors as the first priority. Simply ordering to reduce the emissions is a very un-scholarly policy. Governments need to invest in more environment-friendly ways of manufacturing. For example, nuclear fission reactors, wind, and solar energy can produce electricity without producing carbons as by-products. This carbon-free electricity can then be used in industries as the first step towards environmental equilibrium.

Recent climatic events increased the seriousness of states towards this issue. Still, there is a sheer need to involve scholars in policy formulations and to acknowledge the fact that countering climate disasters may require them to stop the developments. They may have to go to an extent of certain de-growth to save the environment. This can only be effectively done, from a practical point of view, if the pressure groups, whether they are NGOs, social activists, civil societies, or the citizens, urge the states to take action in this regard.

The under-developed and developing countries are the ones who have the least contributions to carbon emissions but are the ones who are most vulnerable to its effects. So, a global or regional regime, with only focus and will to secure the whole region’s/ global environment, is needed. This may require certain powerful nations to put aside their economic or political interests for the sake of collective benefit. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN are effectively contributing to the implementation of several global policies, requiring states to cooperate, effectively reduce the carbon emissions and save the environment.

Conference of the Parties (COP) brings together the stakeholders of the whole world at a table to collectively make yearly plans regarding climate change policies. The 28th COP meeting is going to happen in December 2023 in Dubai, UAE. This meeting will overview the overall progress of previous actions and will set new goals and policies for the world. The scientific teams and the NGOs need to be given more importance in this meeting.

Many steps have been taken towards financial aid and research & development (e.g. IPPC) regarding climate change by the UN, but the condition is worsening with each coming year. This is a clear sign that the policies made by the governments need to be reviewed and the approach toward climate change issues must be changed.  

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