Climate goals, a farce! Nations seldom practice what they preach

Countries holler out on international arenas setting climate goals, but they actually don’t bother to keep promises.

If, by any chance, you thought that the countries around the world are serious about climate change, you are thoroughly mistaken. Even as many of these countries preach about the need to cut fossil fuels and lower temperatures, they are doing just the opposite.

If you aren’t convinced about what you just read, take a moment to listen to the UNEP production gap report. You will then know that it has been found that countries will continue to drill and mine more than double the levels needed to keep the 1.5C threshold alive. What a shame!

It is a known fact that most of these nations that inhabit the world, which is increasingly turning hostile in terms of environmental conditions, are at the forefront to declare their climate goals and set zero-emission targets. But what do they actually do?

Climate goals are set, but actions not justified

Their commitment towards a safe green planet is just a farce. That is what the UN has also found. The global body has been clamouring for the attention of the big nations on how to keep the global temperature at safer levels. But then, even as they holler out on international podiums that they are doing all that are needed to meet climate goals, they are actually not keeping any of those promises.

As per the UN report, plans by the governments to extract fossil fuels up to 2030 are incompatible with keeping global temperatures to safe levels. That speaks volumes, don’t you think?

On paper and on international commitment documents, there has been a major push by most of the nations to set net zero-emission goals. Many countries have pledged themselves to protect the earth from dying. But then, take a look at the biggest oil, gas and coal-producing countries.

A cursory look at their agendas would make it clear that they haven’t, at all, set any plans that would help in the fast rapid reductions in fossil fuels. That, in turn, is a diversion from what these nations actually preach.

Does the Earth have something to look forward to at COP26?

We all know the prestigious COP26 climate conference is just a few days away. The world has once again turned its radar to gauge the amount of work the countries of the world have done in the carbon-snipping arena. The fact is that the biggest emitters continue to emit much more than what is permissible.

Temperatures have been rising beyond control. Allowing temperatures to rise by more than 1.5C this century could only mean irreparable losses for humanity. And, to keep heat levels under 1.5C would need concerted efforts to put a hold on carbon emissions. Who will put that to practice is the question that remains to be answered!

The UN has already sounded its concern over the fact that the biggest emitting countries are significantly increasing their production of fossil fuels. The UNEP production gap report, which has profiled 15 major production countries including Australia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the US and UK, has pointed out that countries are lining up measures to produce around 110% more fossil fuel.

These levels are nowhere compatible with a 1.5C temperature rise that would come unto us by the end of the current century. In statistical terms, the report has warned that the biggest emitters are now working around 45% more than what’s needed to keep the temperature rise to 2C. The damage that temperature rise would bring unto the planet would be unforeseeable, for sure.

Though it has been seen that production of coal will come down, gas will zoom the most in the next couple of decades. This is totally out of line with the Paris agreement, and the countries behind this situation should realise what they are doing.  In a situation where governments themselves offer policy support for fossil fuel production, what kind of relief does the world have to look up to?

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Sanjeev Ramachandran

A journalist with 23 years of experience, Sanjeev has worked with reputed media houses such as Business Standard, The Ne More »
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