By Divya Sharma:
When we talk about climate change, it is important that we must understand that not only will long term policies pave the way out of this difficult situation, but short term goals are equally important. At this year’s Sustainable Innovation Forum (SIF) at COP21 in Paris, those drafts will become a major hit which will contain a long-term vision with a short-term goal and India needs to prove itself this time that it is thinking for some real, achievable targets.
India is one of those countries which is vulnerable to climate change and is already witnessing the effects of global warming. Scorching heat with dangerous heat waves, floods and famines in different regions, fast melting of the Himalayan belt causing landslides and increase in water levels in the low line areas, are to name a few. Climate change has come up as the biggest threat to the health of the people. Those who are less fortunate are paying high price for climate change, many times with the lives of their dear ones and sometimes they too get defeated by it.
India is in definite need of some achievable targets – long term and short goals both are needed at this point of time. Everyone knows that it is with some small steps that we cover long journeys.
Short term goals are required especially to put a stop on air pollution as India’s biggest and busiest cities are now topping the list of most polluted cities, which is surely not a good sign. Some stronger steps are needed in this area like promoting the use of bicycle and use more of public transport as and when required. Also, there could be a check on the purchase of two-wheelers and four-wheelers. Industries must be checked and warned time to time regarding their emissions, and legal steps must be taken against them if they try to ignore the call. Like our five year plans, there is a need for drafting a separate five-year plan for environment protection which must include some stronger measures that will be used to fight against climate change.
Our environment laws need a serious check too. They must be reviewed after every five years and modified according to the present situation. Here in India, people are most of the time seen taking environment laws for granted and are used to by-passing them. Scientists have already warned the world that if the present speed of gas emissions is not stopped timely, the results will be disastrous and the temperature will be seen at its new high. Currently, India in the month of September is going through a scorching heat like it is felt in the months of May or June! The highest temperature recorded in the month of September is 40 degree Celsius which has broken all time records!
The G7 countries support a long-term emissions phase out, but the biggest countries have not taken a clear stance. Though the good news is that slowly and steadily the biggest and the most developed countries like U.S. and Germany are giving out some positive signs and statements in support of zero emissions and a carbon-free world.
India must learn from other smaller countries how they are fighting climate change and cutting their dependency on carbon in order to achieve the ambitious zero emissions target. Recently, Masdar city of UAE was in the news because it has developed a fully clean energy powered city making good use of solar power. India must study what measures it must have used regarding this and it’s not a difficult thing for India because it is one of those countries which gets maximum sunlight round the year, almost in every season. It’s sad that in spite of having such a good and stronger source of energy, its speed has been slow in adopting and promoting clean energy.
The world is eyeing on COP21, to be held this year in Paris, as there are some crucial decisions expected to be taken by the world leaders towards climate change and they will be showing their stand in support of zero emission policies. Still many big, giant countries are to show what is their call on the present climate change crisis and how much ready they are to fight with this global issue. Countries like Canada and New Zealand have boldly shown their full support towards zero emissions which is a big achievement. The recent statement of US President Mr.Obama has given a new hope to millions of green dreams. He said, “We refuse to surrender, the hope of a clean energy future to those who fear it and fight it.” People of the countries are now expecting a clean power plan which could save their health and future.
Paris talks this year will determine the position of the world and its true commitment to achieve energy independence from fossil fuels, freedom from carbon pollution. It is more important for India because it is going through a vulnerable phase right now. As quoted by Deutsche Bank, “Investment in Solar power in India could surpass investment in coal within the next five years.”
This is the reason why Prime Minister Modi calls Solar energy the ultimate solution for India’s energy needs and there could be no better global platform than COP21 to let the world know about India’s green commitments and to convince its own countrymen that the solutions are on their way. India being one of the highest emitters will have to cut its dependency on carbon and fossils in order to achieve its financial and environmental prosperity.
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