IPCC warning on global climate change can’t be taken lightly

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When the nation is witness to an epoch making movement #MeToo, attention of most media world is riveted towards that. And in the melee, the latest earth shaking report of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in October 2018 has gone almost unreported in media. Tehelka editorial focuses on the IPCC warning that global temperatures are set to rise above pre-industrial levels by 3 degrees C. Rise of temperature by that level will not only result in disappearance of many insects and plants but would threaten the very existence of island nations like Maldives, Miami, Shanghai by shrinking the coastline causing drought in many parts of the world by leaving the many cities below sea level. The global temperature for August 2018 was the fifth highest August temperature since global records began in 1880 while nine of the ten warmest August global land and ocean surface temperatures have been reported since year 2009. The last five years from 2014 to 2018 have been a witness to five warmest August on record.  The 1.5C threshold was set at Paris because scientists feared that a world warmer than that would precipitate greater drought, habitat loss, food insecurity and mass migration. The managing director of International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde had commented “Make no mistake: without concerted action, the very future of planet is in peril”.

The IPCC being an intergovernmental body of the United Nations dedicated to providing the world with a scientific view of climate change, its warning can’t be taken lightly because world’s climate scientists have spoken that we must limit the human-induced global warming to 1.5C. As efforts to roll back emission levels in third world countries would jeopardies their growth, the developing nations expect funds from developed countries for carrying out changes in their projects to check carbon emissions.  So the message is clear, the effluent needs to compensate because when global warming brings misery, it would be equitable affecting both developed and under developed economies. India is part of Paris commitment and it has already announced installation of 175 gigawatts of renewable power by 2022. These and other mitigation steps would require massive funds. Our planet is staring at misery and its time for rich nations to pitch in with funds to compensate third world nations. US President Donald Trump had announced to pull out of 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change saying that “The Paris accord will undermine the US economy and put it at a permanent disadvantage while withdrawal would help American businesses and workers”. However, pulling out of Paris Accord would not help. There is need for rich nations to open up purse strings to stop the inevitable.