The Climate Crisis Is Putting Human Survival At Risk

The Climate Crisis Is Putting Human Survival At Risk
The clock is ticking, and a future with unprecedented climate disasters is estimated to become our present within a decade. A recent report released by the United Nations argues that, due to the world's inability to reach its climate objectives, by the early 2030s, the intensity of climate change-related phenomena will have become so strong that human adaptation is unlikely to be a viable option.‎

It is evident that in the future, with climatic events on the rise, there is a potential risk to the lives of millions of people globally, with no prior encounter with such situations. In accordance with the report, the allowable increase in global temperature deemed necessary to maintain the sustainability of human life, otherwise known as the world's climate budget, will be exceeded. It appears as though impending doom is at hand.‎

The destiny of the global lies in the hands of two newly emerging economies. India and China are anticipated to fulfill their respective climate objectives by 2060 and 2070, respectively.‎

Regrettably, the rate of transformation may not be expeditious enough. UN Secretary-General António ‎Guterres has posited that incremental change alone cannot bring about the global salvation that is so desperately sought. It is essential to implement far-reaching and drastic modifications to avert the far-reaching and drastic consequences of neglecting to do so.‎

The forecast in the report was created by a huge group of climate scientists who analyzed a ton of data to determine how the present rate of climate change compares to pre-industrial levels. The lesson is that humans have killed the Earth, and as ecosystems collapse and extreme weather events become more frequent, the Earth and those who dwell on it will be helpless to survive. The effects of our deeds will be felt for tens of thousands of years to come.‎

The UN report is purportedly instrumental in suggesting proactive steps towards a hopeful future. It may not be a particularly encouraging prospect for inhabitants of South Asia.‎

One explanation is that the experts are calling for a rapid acceleration in reducing carbon consumption in China and India to mitigate the effects of climate change. The population of South Asia is acutely aware that both countries have been competing to outmatch one another in economic development. The lack of motivation to reduce emissions to the necessary levels to mitigate global warming and prevent climatic disasters has been a consistent issue. The prevailing sentiment is that since the industrialized West successfully achieved economic progress and expansion, other nations are likewise entitled to pursue the same development course without being constrained by the carbon emissions contributing to global warming.‎

Pakistan's physical proximity to India, particularly to cities like New Delhi, results in the country witnessing the detrimental effects of smog and pollution arising from industrial and agricultural activities, which frequently affects the well-being of those residing in regions bordering the two countries.‎ The Pakistani environment still suffers its indigenous sources of pollution. Still, research conducted after last year's devastating floods reveals that the nation is adversely affected by the ecological repercussions of other countries' economies. The world's worst environmental offenders, including neighboring countries, are engaging in a heedless pursuit of economic expansion regardless of its risks to the planet's future.‎

The report states that reducing global emissions, including those of China and India, by at least 60% by 2035 is necessary to secure the planet's future. In the report's words, there must be swift and extensive changes across multiple industries and systems to prevent a potentially apocalyptic scenario resulting from climate change.‎

The cost-effectiveness of renewable energy sources is a viable way to reach these ambitious objectives. However, it is also apparent that investing more capital from global financial institutions into these renewable energy sources is paramount in effecting a change in the planet's current trajectory.‎

At COP27, India presented its long-term strategy for reducing emissions. The submitted plan was lacking in specifics and data. Furthermore, it explicitly acknowledged India's intent to continue utilizing coal as an energy source, resulting in high carbon emissions, and cultivate the fuel for later use. The United Nations Climate Action Committee has deemed India's contributions to global climate change mitigation inadequate. The progress in reducing emissions is manifestly insufficient to prevent a climate emergency.‎

Although India's average temperature has increased by 0.7°C (almost a whole degree) since 1901, the country has continued this path. The highest temperatures documented were experienced during the heatwave that affected Pakistan and India last year. As summer approaches, temperatures may rise this year, putting both human and animal life in peril as the plains heat up. Pakistan, a nation with low emissions but bearing the emission burden of more considerable polluters, has a role in encouraging other major emitters, such as India and China, in fulfilling their obligations.‎

In what ways would a rapidly expanding economy be beneficial in a world where large portions of the population have been displaced due to the inhabitable conditions of their accustomed habitats? The United Nations has strongly advised against alarmist reactions to the report, yet panic seems to be the most sensible response in the present situation. ‎Given the lack of willingness of the most prolific polluters to diminish their carbon footprint, the United Nations should evaluate implementing more stringent measures to ensure the compliance of these erring countries instead of simply producing research reports. This requires a concerted effort from governments, companies, and individuals alike.

Governments must implement policies and regulations that promote sustainable practices and hold corporations accountable for their environmental impact. Companies must prioritize sustainability in their operations and work towards reducing their carbon footprint. Similarly, individuals must make conscious choices to reduce their impact on the environment, whether it's through reducing their energy consumption, recycling, or choosing more sustainable modes of transportation. After all, the destiny of the entire globe is at risk.‎