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Climate crisis is eminently solvable – Gulf News


The climate crisis is the battle of our time, and we can win
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Floods, droughts, fires and increasing temperatures are disrupting economies and communities across the world. All of this is happening at an amazing regularity. Some of the highest global temperatures were recorded between 2015 and 2021. The State of Climate report, released by the United Nations, has pointed out that key indicators of climate change — greenhouse gas concentrations, ocean heat, sea-level rise and ocean acidification — climbed by record margins last year.

From shrinking mountain glaciers to ice melting at a faster rate than usual in Greenland, Antarctica and the Arctic, the environmental havoc wrought about by global warming stares us in the face. Scientists have reported changes in flower blooming times and early dust storms — just some of red herrings of the crisis upon us.

In fact, the sheer scope of the climate change seems to be exceeding our society’s ability to adapt. That is the reason our response must change too. The US climate envoy John Kerry set the tone for how the world’s response must be when he spoke at the recent World Economic Forum, noting that we have the technology to fight climate change. It just needs to scale up. As of now the world is behind the required pace of change.

It is therefore incumbent upon countries to strictly adhere to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid a catastrophe. The COP26 climate change conference was a step in that direction. It led to countries agreeing upon the Glasgow Climate Pact that urges governments to commit and contain deforestation and global methane emissions while transitioning to net-zero emissions, among other measures.

Let us have no illusions. Climate change isn’t something that will happen decades in the future; its effects are happening now. It is true that we may cope with the fallouts for a while, but there will come a point when we will not be in a position to do so because the scale of catastrophe will be immense.

The climate crisis is solvable. It needs commitment at multiple levels — government, business and society. Progress in renewable energy can lead to a large reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Businesses need urgent plans for navigating a transformation and redefining the business model for a low-carbon world. This will greatly lead the way in building a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy that helps all people thrive. This is our planet’s only chance.

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