By Binoy Viswam
Global warming is the biggest challenge humanity faces today. No country can afford to ignore its impact on the national and international levels. The Kyoto protocol in 1997 was a landmark initiative where 84 countries came together to address the menace of global warming. In the backdrop of the Kyoto protocol, the world began to discuss global warming with utmost serious concern. This protocol sought to call the attention of the world with a sense of do or die. It impressed upon the people regarding the sword of Damocles that hung over the future of humankind
Related data informs us that in the last 100 years, since the advent of industrial revolution, the earth became warmer to the extent of 1.3 degree Celsius. It warned the countries of the world that if urgent measures are not taken, the human race may even face extinction. It was at this juncture the United Nations and the countries of the world began to think of measures to prevent global warming. The Kyoto protocol alerted us that if we fail to make a course correction, the temperature of the world may further increase to six-degree Celsius which humankind cannot withstand.
That was the urge behind the Paris agreement in 2015. 192 countries met in Paris and approved the Paris declaration. The solemn commitment of Paris was to restrict the level of global warming to the extent of two degree Celsius than that of the beginning of the industrial revolution era. It was emphatic in its approach that under no condition, global warming may be allowed to cross the limit of three degree Celsius. The main thrust was to control carbon emissions. The necessity for protecting forests, oceans and glaciers were underlined.
No country or government was dare enough to question the relevance of such measures. In the geopolitical reality of the world today, saying something and doing the same is a big challenge. Economics and politics behind global warming have become very crucial in this regard. The position taken by the US and the so-called developed countries explains a lot about their lack of sincerity in the most crucial issue of the world. The US under the Trump administration was always vacillating on the Paris commitments. At a point of time, they even threatened to boycott the Paris agreement. It was only rectified recently when Joe Biden became the President. This throws light on the interlinkage between globalisation and global warming. On many occasions the transnational corporations have dictated their terms to the White House on issues related to climate change and global warming.
It was in this background that the Glasgow summit was held. Last week in Scotland high sounding words were repeated by the heads of states. Most important among them was the net-zero commitment by 2070. As a prelude to that Glasgow has committed a clean and green 2030. The question however is whether the countries would translate their words into practice. The five-points road map unveiled by India in this regard have attracted the attention of the world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his usual oratory highlighted the Glasgow conclave as a commitment and sentiment. That usage is of course good but that alone will not be sufficient to fulfill the commitment. It warrants uncompromising political will. As the Scandinavian teenager Greta Thunberg explains on an earlier occasion, how dare are they to make such statements without any commitment. Without that commitment it will be only ‘bla, bla, bla’ as the Prime Minister of UK put it. In India the proposed amendments in the forest conservation Act and the blue economy concept will pave way for the destruction of forests and oceans. In the background of commitment and sentiments in Glasgow, will the prime minister make the necessary corrections? (IPA Service)