Climate change is a long-term shift in global or regional climate patterns. It refers to the rise in global temperatures from the mid-20th century. It is the long term variation in the weather and temperatures patterns all over the world. Climate change has also been connected with other damaging weather events such as more frequent and more intense hurricanes, floods, downpours, and winter storms. In some Polar Regions, the warming global temperatures due to climate change are melting ice sheets and glaciers at an accelerated rate from season to season. This contributes to sea levels rising in different regions of the planet. Together with expanding ocean waters due to rising temperatures, the resulting rise in sea level has begun to damage coastlines as a result of increased flooding and erosion. Global temperatures and sea levels are rising, and possibly contributing to more devastating storms. Throughout Earth’s history, climate has continually changed but when it occurs naturally, then it is a slow process that has taken place over hundreds and thousands of years. The human influenced climate change that is happening now is occurring at a much faster rate. The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) called on all the Indian states to develop their climate action plans in line with the objectives of the National Action Plan on Climate Change. The project assisted with the development of action plans in 16 states and two union territories. Heat waves frequency and power are increasing in India because of climate change. In 2019, the temperature reached 50.6 degrees Celsius, 36 people were killed. Climate change is no more an environmental concern. It has emerged as the biggest developmental challenge for the planet. As per the reports given by UNDP, during the conference of the signatory states of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, held in Delhi in 2002, India pushed for a joint declaration on the significance of global warming. The Indian report to the UNFCCC also emphasizes the need to assess vulnerabilities and to plan adaptation measures to climate change.
The vast majority of the historical global emissions that are driving climate change have come from developed countries, like the United States, the EU, Japan, and Canada; but it is the poorest countries – those who can least afford to adapt to a changing climate – that are suffering first and worst. The recent global climate agreement in Paris was a major step in recognizing the global urgency of the crisis, but it will take serious action from national and subnational governments to meet new goals that aspire to limit global warming to 1.5°C. The measure taken to protect climate change always fell short on critical dimensions of equity, climate financing, and any other efforts undertaken to support the most vulnerable climate damages. The ozone layer in Earth’s atmosphere protects against ultraviolet radiation is also getting depleted.
CAUSES FOR CLIMATE CHANGE
- The cause of current climate change is largely human activity, like burning fossil fuels, like natural gas, oil, and coal. Burning these materials releases what are called greenhouse gases into Earth’s atmosphere. These gases trap heat from the sun’s rays inside the atmosphere causing Earth’s average temperature to rise. This rise in the planet’s temperature is called global warming. The warming of the planet impacts local and regional climates. The most important Green Houses Gasses directly emitted by humans include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and several others.
- Oil and gas drilling has serious consequences for our wildlands and communities. Drilling projects are disrupting wildlife, water sources, human health, and recreation. Burning of fossil fuels – oil, coal and gas – is driving one of the biggest challenges facing the world today. Extreme weather events, rising oceans, and record setting temperatures are wreaking havoc on hundreds of millions of lives and livelihoods around the world. Greenhouse gas emissions, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, have already warmed the globe by more than 1°C since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Unless we take steps to reduce these emissions and ambitiously transition to a just, clean, and renewable energy future – the planet will become unrecognizable as global temperatures soar by 4, 5, or 6 °C and beyond. Fossil fuel drilling could be contributing to climate change by heating Earth from within.
- Burning fossil fuels doesn’t just produce greenhouse gases but it also generates a lot of heat, which leaks out to the atmosphere. Nuclear tests and volcanic eruptions are some examples of other large heat sources. Thermal emissions were more important than CO2 for raising global temperatures. A few years later, two scientists suggested that heat from the earth’s interior could be contributing to rising temperatures. They argued that fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas in layers and crevices beneath the Earth’s surface act as an insulating blanket, trapping heat from the planet’s interior will lead to destructions. As these deposits have been emptied by fossil fuel extraction, more of that heat could be reaching the surface. The use of fossil fuels releases carbon dioxide and methane, two greenhouse gases that trap the Earth’s heat within the atmosphere, leading to warmer oceans and climates, unstable weather, rising sea levels, flooding, drought, changes in water flow, declining amounts of potable water, forest fires, famine, species extinction, and pressure on species to adapt.
- Packaging and Processing of Food items, a common trend in developed world, leads to carbon emissions. Irrespective of economic status Indians buy fresh produce every day thereby minimizing refrigeration and packaging costs. This is a very healthy practice.
- Generation of non-degradable waste material like plastics also effects climate.
- Use of fertilizers, pesticides in agriculture can affect natural resources.
- Air conditioners remit gasses which contribute to climate disasters.
EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
- Forests deteriorating: Climate Change brings about shift in natural vegetation, thereby deteriorating the forests
- Agriculture: Rain-deficit monsoon and unseasonal rains have disturbed the crop-cycles
- Water: Some parts of India are facing shrinking of water supplies while others are facing rising seas
- Biodiversity: Climate change, along with habitat loss and fragmentation is a major threat to biodiversity.
- BUSH FIRES- Recently excessive bush fire in Australia was also result of climate change.
- Carbon emissions that are captured from industry and energy generation could be stored in the crevices left by extracted fossil fuels, re-insulating the sub-surface and helping to slow the thermal emissions that could be amplifying global warming.
- Establishment of Small and Medium Enterprises and Cottage industries as they are comparatively environment friendly and have the potential to tap India’s king-sized demographic dividend. SMEs and Cottage industries can demonstrate the world how a low carbon economy can come into existence. Government is also giving many stimulus benefits to these sectors.
- Promotion of Public transport and vehicle-pooling can lower the carbon emissions to great levels. Certain odd and even Car number schemes are also promoted by Delhi Government.
- An approach can also be followed by inter-linking of rivers and the use for certain crops.
- The drinking water scarcity problem that we see in many parts of India today is a direct consequence of climate change. India is very vulnerable to climate change — melting Himalayan glaciers will produce floods in north India while erratic monsoons will create droughts in peninsular India. Solutions can be created by preserving rain waters and using them for the future purposes.
- Many programmes such as push for renewable energy and electric vehicles are aimed at slowing down future global warming.
- Mitigation is more important to developed countries, but for countries like India the focus should be on adaptation, or measures taken to cope with the inevitable effects of climate change that has already happened, such as nasty storms, floods and droughts.
ROLE OF FINANCING IN CLIMATE CHANGE IN INDIA
- Financing Renewable energy in India with focus on solutions for solar and wind energy.
- Financing clean energy work focuses on improving energy efficiency in buildings and appliances. Designing applications in the way which can lead to energy savings.
- Financing heat-preparedness plan and early-warning system for heat waves.
- Partnering with a local group, and developing an innovative finance model to increase off-grid energy access to clean energy and improve the lives in desert’s area. This includes the powering of water pumps with solar energy can save production costs, increase efficiency and harvest outputs, and improves farmers’ livelihoods.
- Climate engineering, geoengineering can be used for human interventions that change the earth’s climate system. This involves burning biomass for energy, and capturing and storing the emissions underground. Some scientists have also suggested ways in which carbon dioxide emissions can be saved in clouds.
- Marine cloud brightening techniques can be financed which involves reflecting sunlight away from the earth in some way. In this case, sea salt or other particles are sprayed into marine clouds to make them thicker and more reflective.
- Scientist also has developed techniques for transferring carbon dioxide back into coal. Financing such activities is also required.
- Inserting Aerosol in atmosphere.
Through financing different alternatives after evaluating cost and benefit for each, the beat alternative in technical and financial term can be adopted. Different options can be leasing sulphate particles in the air to mimic the cooling effects of a massive volcanic eruption, placing millions of small mirrors or lenses in space to deflect sunlight, covering portions of the planet with reflective films to bounce sunlight back into space, fertilizing the oceans with iron or other nutrients to enable plankton to absorb more carbon.
Five geoengineering solutions proposed to fight climate change