Climate Crisis

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched the Green Grids Initiative—One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG), the first international network of global interconnected solar power grids, jointly with his UK counterpart Boris Johnson, at COP26 summit in Glasgow. Addressing a session on clean technology at the summit, PM Modi said ‘one sun, one world, one grid’ can be crucial to re-establishing the environmental balance. He said this creative initiative will not only reduce carbon footprints and energy cost but also open a new avenue for cooperation between different countries and region.

Major world leaders congregated in Glasgow to make their respective climate commitments in view of the creeping climate change that is threatening to pose a grave danger to the world. US president Joe Biden warned that none of us can “escape the worst that’s yet to come if we fail to seize this moment”. He said this would be the “decisive decade” in which to prove that the goal of limiting global warming to just 1.5 degrees Celsius could be met.. UN chief António Guterres in hisstark message used very stark words in describing the climate change saying “we are digging our own grave” and should stop “treating nature as a toilet.”

The COP26 followed the recent grim report by a UN-appointed panel that warned of the far-reaching effects of climate change if no immediate measures were taken to remedy the damage already done. The world, said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released in August, will cross the 1.5 degrees Celsius warming mark in the 2030s, earlier than some past predictions. The report further said that human influence has warmed the climate at a rate that is unprecedented in at least the last 2,000 years. Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities alone are responsible for approximately 1.1 degrees Celsius of warming since 1850-1900 and the temperatures could continue to rise until 1950. The report revealed that the past decade was most likely hotter than any period in the last 1,25,000 years when sea levels were as much as 10 meters higher.

The report caused a global alarm after its release. There is thus an urgent need for the world to come together and take remedial measures to pre-empt the catastrophe and the COP26 summit would certainly play an important role in this direction. In Kashmir too, the climate change has led to considerable changes in weather patterns. Triggering alarm bells is the slowly shrinking Kolahai glacier, the biggest in Valley, which is the source of Lidder and Sindh, two major streams of river Jehlum.

If the recession of the Himalayan glaciers goes on at this rate, the discharge in the former state’s rivers would substantially go down, leading to a catastrophic situation, not least because it will severely impact Pakistan too. Though we can do nothing about the larger, global scale changes in the climate, we certainly need to address the local man made causes that reinforce their impact on us. It is time that our government becomes serious on this score.

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