Climate Change In 2021: Make Or Break Year For World In Crisis

by GoNews Desk 4 months ago Views 4174

Climate Change 2021 Year Ender Top News On Environ
Climate change and global warming have been at the top of the world’s agenda this year in 2021, after the coronavirus pandemic hogged all the headlines and seemed to momentarily displace all other concerns. However, with the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and the COP 26 this year, the fragile state of the planet and the race to limit global warming to under 1.5°C came in sharp focus.

There were various unfortunate natural disasters in India and around the world, with many being attributed to climate change. Significant world events, such as the 26th Conference of Parties to the UNFCC (COP 26), refocused the world’s attention on the persistent and ever-growing threat of climate change.

  • ‘Code Red For Humanity’: Report BY IPCC WG-1

The IPCC’s 'Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis is a report that was published in September this year, which has been called a “code red for humanity” by the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The report says that the Indian Ocean is warming at a higher rate than other oceans. It also states that both annual and summer monsoon rainfall are likely to increase during the 21st century.

WATCH | Kerala: Floods, Landslides After Rain a "Human Made Disaster"

The IPCC has stated that “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere and biosphere have occurred”, and that “Many changes due to past and future greenhouse gas emissions are irreversible for centuries to millennia, especially changes in the ocean, ice sheets and global sea level”.

Both heat spells and rainfall are expected to increase, especially in the Indian subcontinent, which will also increase the likelihood of cyclonic storms. The report says that a variety of events and incidents across the world, from heatwaves, heavy rainfall, wildfires, and droughts are being observed as a direct result of climate change. Even if we are able to limit warming to 1.5°C of pre-industrial levels, these are the effects we will still have to deal with.

WATCH | UN Climate Change Panel's Damning Report: "Code Red For Humanity"

  • India’s Net-Zero Announcement At COP 26, Climate Financing

India’s climate change response strategy has come into focus this year with the COP 26 bringing this crucial concern into focus. The UN Security Council even brought in a resolution that linked climate change with terrorist activities, urging countries to respond with “integrate” policies, which India rejected as an “over-simplification”.

At COP 26, India made a ‘surprise announcement’ of net-zero carbon emissions by 2070. Here are the other major commitments that India made at COP 26:

• Target To Increase Non-Fossil Energy Capacity To 500 Gigawatt By 2030
• Obtaining 50% Of India’s Electricity From Renewable Sources By 2030

WATCH: Has India Actually Achieved Its 40% Clean Energy Target?

• Reduction Of 1 Billion Tones By 2030 Of India's Projected Carbon Emissions
• Aim Of Bringing Down Carbon Intensity Of Indian Economy To 45%

The issue of transitioning form the use of coal as a major power source became a flashpoint of criticism for India as negotiators rushed until the last moment to ink a deal at the summit’s end which would keep the global target of 1.5°C by 2030 alive. India played a crucial role in changing the term “phase out” to “phase down” in context of coal use. This drew criticism from many countries, particularly island nations, but was countered by support that highlighted developed countries’ lack of will to  provide climate financing.

WATCH | Protests In Glasgow During COP 26 Summit

READ: Frustration and Fury Over Climate Finance at COP26 | World Needs Urgent Transition To Renewables: IEA

  • Natural Disasters Seen Worldwide And In India, Displacement Increases

2021 was also a year of intense natural disasters, with floods and landslides affecting people in Kerala, Uttarakhand, Tamil Nadu, Assam, and other places in the country. Globally, the forest fires and heatwaves in Europe and the destruction caused by Hurricane Ida in the United States, sounded the alarm bells on the future effects of climate change.

READ: Red Alert 2021: Global Floods And Wildfires Signal Coming Climate Catastrophe

The World Metrological Organization (WMO) said in a report that that incidents of extreme weather and resultant economic losses have been higher than ever since the 1970’s worldwide.

Similarly, the UNOCHA has said that a humanitarian crisis may be round the corner for the world due to the climate crisis, since between 2000 and 2019, over 7,000 disasters were recorded worldwide, an 83% rise on the previous two decades.

The IIED, an independent research organization, studied climate change and its effects on internal migration, and found that climate change is emerging as a definite factor inducing migrations in India even after considering other factors such as educational levels and household size. 

READ: Climate Crisis Causing Increased Internal Migration In India, Finds IIED Report

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