(Dr. KM George, President Sustainable Development Forum—Think Tank; Email firstname.lastname@example.org)
A bell is not a bell unless you ring it…..
A song is not a song unless you tune it…..
Quality is not quality, unless you perceive it every day.
“The world needs to go much further and faster in combatting climate change. Beginning this journey to a greener future is not easy, but we cannot avoid tough choices. We must reject the false choice between preserving the economy and protecting the environment.”
Energy is a means to access our basic needs. It is essential to harness food, water, etc, for our easy living by augmenting its optimum utilization. We all share the same air and water. The World Summit on Sustainable Development ( WSSD) reconfirmed the link between access to energy and poverty alleviation. The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation ( JPI) on Sustainable Development came from the WSSD among others, stressed on global inequalities, loss of biodiversity and climate change. JPI called upon to improve access to affordable, adequate, reliable and appropriate energy sources and technology for sustainable development.
There is some kind of glaring inequality in the consumption of energy. While developed countries account only for 20 percent of the world population, their energy consumption is more than 50 percent of the global figure. This must open the eyes of policy thinkers and decision makers.
Improving quality of life, among others, depends on the access to clean energy. The increased demand for fossil fuel is linked to the depletion of natural resources resulting in higher emissions of carbon . It is a sure recipe for environmental devastation. As such the only way-out for the global good is to go for renewable energy as a long term solution. Natural Renewable Energy Laboratory of the USA ( NREL) is working on generating 80 percent of the electricity from renewable sources by 2050. This offers some ray of hope for the planet and the posterity at large.
The major types of renewable energy are form solar, wind, hydroelectric, ocean, geothermal, biomass and hydrogen.
Having said so, what is the way forward? Let us briefly examine it.
The Way Forward—Action Plans
Since 1995, countries bound by the UNFCCC met regularly, save 2020 due to the covid -19 pandemic. Despite all its flaws, COPS play a crucial role in a process that is historic and vital. However, to duck the responsibility of planning a transition to renewable energy is rank cowardice.
To combat the challenges of climate change, we must resort to multiple ways. It must be done surely under the UNFCCC.
There are a few questions which are to be answered by the UNFCCC. Like Minded Developing Countries ( LMDC) say the climate finance should be at least $ one trillion to salvage the situation. Again, strict monitoring of climate finance must be in place as done in the case of monitoring of mitigation.
Efforts must be in place to rope in effectively the Third World Net work ( TWN).
Despite the irrefutable evidence of emissions, developed countries may not impose any punitive taxation on their citizens for climate reparations. Hence a quicker shift to renewal energy sources may be made by enabling greater sharing of technology. It must be affordable and user-friendly to all.
Renewable energy must get political resonance in the Less Developed Countries. Unless it appears on the political and electoral platforms, the push away form fossil fuel will remain only a bite without teeth and a smoke without fire.
The Paris Agreement, a treaty signed in 2015, exhorts countries to strive to curtail emissions that would keep temperatures from rising over 1.5 degree Celsius by 2100. This means significant adaptation to Renewable energy, cutting down global emissions by as much as 45 percent by 2030 and zero emissions by 2050.
Policy makers must focus on green energy more than ever after the recently held COP 26 in Glasgow. They need a kind of system thinking to do things differently and holistically. Let us remind ourselves that the only choice before us is co-existence or co- extinction. Let us make no mistake in our understanding.
Public==Private==NGO partnership must be accorded top priority to embrace renewable energy propagation on war footing.
Concerted efforts are needed for a long term solution expeditiously to shift to renewable energy regime due to various exigencies . Schools and colleges along with hospitals and hostels must switch to roof top solar energy systems in a phased manner, so that by 2030 there must be a discernible flood of solar energy everywhere.
Liberal economic incentives must be offered to all those who switch over to green energy by the COP member governments to make it a workable and attractive proposal so that people compete with one another to partake in this on a competitive spirit.
Failure to provide critical adaptation finance and the measurement of the extent of loss caused by climate change with respect to lives and livelihoods is unfair immoral by any standards. Here again, it underlines the unequivocal and compelling importance of going for renewable energy to ensure better quality of life for all living beings on this planet.
Let us have some flash back on the recently concluded COP26. “The mood darkened further after the final wording of the Glasgow Climate Pact on Sunday saw India and China successfully water down a pledge to “phase out” fossil fuels, replacing that wording with the more ambiguous “phase down.”
“Phasing ‘down’ coal? Really?” Gaston Browne, prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, an island country lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, told by phone this week. “This should have been about phasing out. The very language they are using shows us that they are trying to game the system. For us in the Caribbean, in the Pacific Ocean, this is imperilling our very existence.”
Coal must get the final phase out and its decent burial with an eloquent requiem once for all.
Mr. Chairman sir, now let me draw this to a conclusion.
I came, I saw and I am conquered!
Winner we think, yes winner we become.
Together we form the garden.
The future beckons, shall we faulter?
Thank you— thank you—Thank you—
I am indebted to my colleagues Dr. KPP Nambiar, Mr. Unnikrishanan Nair CK and Miss Pavithra for their kind and candid support in formulating my thoughts.