There has been a lot of acknowledgement pouring in, across the globe, regarding the impending climate crisis which our civilisation may face if we don’t take radical measures to mitigate the effects of global warming. Increasingly, politicians — all over the world — have moved beyond just casual conversations over the ongoing crisis and are urging aggressively on the climate change mitigation. The debates over the dire consequences of the erratic weather patterns caused by the emission of greenhouses gases have reached within the parliaments of many nations. Sceptics who have been uncertain of the warnings issued by scientists and environmentalists until the past decade are realising the need to take quick actions. Even the United Nations have sounded an alarm that we might have just eleven more years to limit this climate change catastrophe.
In recent years, we have witnessed some extreme weather events. While global warming remains a burgeoning threat, there has also been a loss of a considerable amount of biodiversity; news of water stress and acidification of oceans, natural disasters have been increasing over the years. Since the pre-industrialisation era, there has been a rise of 1-degree Centigrade in the temperature of the Earth which, in itself, is a drastic change as far as the global climate system is concerned.
In 2019, we have seen nations and local municipals declaring a climate change emergency. While the three biggest emitters of the greenhouse gases — China, India and the US — remain unmotivated to act significantly owing to their economic needs, countries like the UK, France, Canada, Ireland have already made the first radical move in a direction toward a hopeful correction. Even Pope Francis, earlier in the month of September this year, declared a climate emergency and urged politicians to take drastic measures to tackle climate change crisis. The latest declaration to come is from one of the developing countries in Asia, Bangladesh. The country has declared a “planetary emergency” in its parliament. Asia-Pacific region has been facing severe climate hazards such as floods, cyclones, heatwaves and droughts, in recent times. In a statement published in the journal BioScience, over 11,000 scientists from 153 countries, have issued a climate emergency, warning humans of “untold suffering” in the near future to come unless we make immediate and huge changes in the way we live and use natural resources.
The purpose of declaring a climate emergency is to eliminate net greenhouse gas emission completely. Involvement of politicians and government authorities at a higher level will help increase the awareness of the climate mess we are in among the people at the most grassroots level. The goal of carbon neutrality, by minimising the use of fossil fuels, by reducing the consumption of meat, and urging more corporates and people to switch to more greener and cleaner energy alternatives, is the mainstay of declaring a climate emergency in a nation. While it is difficult to assess how much of an impact would such measures have, it definitely is a positive approach in the right direction and a harsh wake up call for us.