It is zero hour for our planet. The time to act, so species survive. We are carrying a burden we created, and the world together, took an oath to make it as light as possible, given, how much it is already weighing us down. Climate Change. The pervasiveness of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, as of 2018, is the highest it has been in 3 million years. The chronicled history has witnessed 17 warmest years post 2000. Our global average was recorded at 1.78 degrees F warmer than the mid-20th century in 2016 as per figures by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Our continued misjudgments and misuse have exposed more than 800 million people, who seethe from the direct impact of climate change. Disturbance of forest ecosystems, supplied by climate change, have entire colonies of species displaced. The bark beetle for instance, has been infesting and slaying millions of hectares of forests in the US for the last two decades. Droughts, floods, heatwaves, rising sea levels are all harbingers of the apocalypse of climate change. The Amazon was the largest storehouse and allocator of carbon dioxide in the world. 2019 August stood and watched as this carbon dioxide sink, got sucked away in the most decadent forest fire caused due to human triggered deforestation. With the devourer of 25% of our carbon dioxide gone, the world is left with renewed effort to fight climate change.
It is zero hour, as shores are consumed, fires ravage civilizations, heat penetrates through systems on earth known for their pleasantness. Increased human activities like combustion of fossil fuels and wiping out the green, has all led to a future that we dread to imagine. The urgency needed, after a prolonged period of ennui, is jolting countries into action. The Paris Climate Agreement of 2015, is an epoch-making step in accumulating and distributing effort to mitigate global climate change. Cutting down carbon emissions, building renewable energy resources from ground up and establishing individual environmental policies are some of the actions 197 countries partook in this landmark accord. It was a commitment by all participating countries to reduce and eventually obstruct the vestibules that are contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. Within the limited passage of time marred by the state of emergency, the efforts need to strengthen, countries taking the lead to device their own checks. The accord also required developed countries supporting developing ones in helping them build mechanisms and adapt to regulate. This was a collective responsibility that went on the floor instantly.
185 countries that breathe out 90% of the world’s carbon were expected to go carbon neutral in a time frame. The knowledge of their efforts to be shared, observing transparency in their actions. These are called the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), once the country has officially joined the movement.
Among historic carbon emissions, the US, China and India take the largest share. China set out to achieve carbon cutdown by 2030, India resigned to suppress carbon levels up to 35 percent below 2005 levels simultaneously working on non-fossil fuel driven generation of electricity by 2030. The US committed to bring down a 25% reduction in its carbons by 2025. Where Countries like India are on their way to successfully quell their carbon emissions and reach their target, with investments in renewable energy topping fossil fuel investments and the consequent adoption of its National Electricity Plan (NEP) in 2018. Other nations like Australia, have come under fire for developing a blasé attitude with their Paris accord target. The country was recently criticized over an increasing dependence on coal operations and putting their guard down in augmenting renewable energy effort. It is a much publicized and mocked affair, Australia’s collective effort towards climate change and the new government’s role in creating a strong environment policy.
What Australia seems to be doing on the surface is recycling old policies and actions and presenting them as new. Australian states on the other hand, have a different reality to show.
What is the effort outline? Is Australia doing enough? Where is the lack? Are some of the enquires we will delve in. Stay hooked to this space to read more on Australia’s Climate Actions.