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POST TIME: 28 December, 2019 12:08:26 AM
Let us reduce carbon emissions through a common agenda
Global temperature practically began to rise with the onset of the Industrial Revolution
SAKIB HASAN

Let us reduce carbon emissions through a common agenda

Although increasing rate of carbon emissions from human activities for luxury and care-free modern life happen to be the biggest ever challenge for human sustainability at present, significant action-oriented breakthrough in global carbon emission reduction is yet at sight. Still more than 90% people of this planet earth has come on a common consensus that the only livable planet of ours needs to be saved from all-corrosive emitting carbons produced by manufacturing civilization. Once a near impossible thought of awakening the stake-holders of the planet earth to the utmost urgency of taking part and making contributions towards reducing carbon emissions in course of time have become a tangible reality now.

Relentless efforts of quite a good number of very pro-active avant-gardes across the world has made it possible on the part of the mass beneficiaries to at least hope that our life on the earth may eventually not be eliminated by devastating emissions. Thanks to the hugely gigantic catalytic role played by the world’s biggest forum—the UN—, that has translated our far-fetched dream of being united into a reality. The United Nations promptly responded and addressed the concerns raised by many member states and arranged a summit conference in Rio de Janeiro of Brazil in 1992 and it was a real ice-breaking conference that  worked as a prelude for Rio Conference+20 in 2012, Kyoto Protocol, Paris Agreement and the forthcoming conference on September 23 this year.

The Rio Conference on Environment and Development was actually a landmark event in the history of human civilization at least for the concern to save the planet earth was first focused internationally in this global summit. A maiden summit in its nature, this global platform highlighted elaborately the issues of adjusting environment protection and socio-economic development. Through this epoch-making summit, global opinions began to galvanize in favour of the urgency of protecting the planet earth from being subject to an inevitable environmental catastrophe. At the same time this highest global forum clearly spelt out the exigencies to be done by the dwellers on the earth.

Global temperature practically began to rise with the onset of the Industrial Revolution. According to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, average temperature rise of the earth as has been recorded by the temperature study is 0.8 degree Celsius since 1980. In the recent years amid explosive carbon emissions triggered by frantic industrial growth, it is apprehended widely by the experts that the average global temperature of the earth will increase dramatically in the years to come if not controlled right now. The Earth Summit of Rio prepared the preliminary grounds for further action-based initiatives. As a direct response to the Rio summit, Kyoto Protocol was signed subsequently and then followed by long-desired Paris Agreement in 2016.

The Paris conference of 2012 on Environment and Sustainable Development was a more concretely successful summit on emission reduction since the Paris Agreement signed after the summit laid out the ground guidelines for the participating states with regard to emission cut. The crystal clear terms of the Agreement prominently address the issues of reduction, mitigation and funding so far as the handling of air pollution and temperature rise are concerned. In fact, Paris agreement is a visionary, viable and forward-looking policy framework that sets out exactly what needs to be done to stop climate disruption and reverse the adverse impact.

The latest analysis conducted by the scientists of the NASA shows that if we act right now without sparing further days, we will be able to reduce carbon emissions within 12 years and hold in the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degree Celsius and even only 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial level. Unfortunately, we are yet to start the process of emission reduction practically.

The most formidable challenge in emission reduction is unquestionably the industrialized superpowers and that most of them are reluctant to reduce industrial emissions since industrial growth makes up the biggest chunk of their national economies. Mention may be made here that world’s top carbon emitting countries are China, the USA, India, Russia, the UK that dominate and more specifically speaking control the politics and economy of the globe. The burgeoning global market for Chinese industrial products has practically made her the biggest emitter contributing 31% to total carbon emission. The USA, another industrial giant, contributes 15% while India contributes 7% and Russia contributes to 6% to the total emissions.

Since it is a sheer utopia to force and coerce these superpowers to shut down their industries by signing an agreement, continuous motivational drives have to be geared up in all engagements and involvements they are supposed to be present. Through the continuous motivational process it is hoped that their conscience will be awakened and they will realize that emission reduction is also an essential imperative to be ensured once human species want to continue its healthy and secure survival on the planet earth. In fact, Emission reduction is not an isolated or individualistic issue. Rather, it is the case of the human race’s existence.

With a view to signing another epoch-making agreement for the human race in the forthcoming UN-sponsored climate change conference to be held on 23 September this year in New York, Un secretary General Antonio Guterres has made a clarion call to all member states to come to attend the Summit in New York and by consensus confirm human race’s onward journey on this planet. When the winter temperature in the Arctic has risen 3 degree Celsius since 1990, we have no option and no time for inaction.

All individual and isolated efforts in reducing carbon emissions especially those made by industries will surely go in vain unless and until these efforts are synchronized and systematized under a universal agenda spearheaded by the UN. For a continuous and sustainable global reduction effort to function effectively, it is time to sit together to work out the modalities and procedures needed to face the greatest-ever issue of existence.      

 

The writer is Assistant Professor of English Bogura Cantonment Public School & College

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