Climate Crisis

UNITED Nations chief Antonio Guterres has warned the world leaders gathering in Egypt for the COP27 climate summit that mankind must choose between cooperating or committing “collective suicide” in the fight against global warming. Nearly 100 heads of state and government are assembling in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where they are being urged to further reduce emissions and provide financial support to developing nations already suffering from the effects of global warming. “Humanity has a choice: cooperate or perish,” Guterres told the summit on Monday.

This year the world has been buffeted by successive natural disasters that have taken thousands of lives and cost tens of billions of dollars. The countries such as Kenya, and Somalia witnessed droughts, Nigeria and Pakistan were wracked by devastating floods and vast swathes of the globe including the United States experienced unprecedented heatwaves. This has made people across the world understand the urgency of the creeping climate change and they want world leaders to act.

The Indian subcontinent is one of the worst-affected regions of the world. In recent years, the region has experienced the detrimental fallout of climate change. India,  Pakistan and Bangladesh between them are home to around  1.7 billion people and any major disruption in the climate pattern could severely impact them. So, the three countries, as well as other countries in the region need to wake up and work toward a global response to the looming catastrophe.

To be sure, India has supported global action and initiatives to combat climate change. Addressing the  COP26 summit last year at Glasgow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said ‘one sun, one world, one grid’ can be crucial to re-establishing the environmental balance.

A report last year by an UN-appointed panel warned of the far-reaching effects of climate change if no immediate measures were taken to remedy the damage already done. 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. In Kashmir too, climate change has led to considerable changes in weather patterns. Triggering alarm bells is the slowly shrinking glaciers that are the source of the Valley’s water bodies. But the factors causing climate change are global in nature and so any effort to reverse the damage has to be backed by the world. And this should be done sooner than later. Time is running out fast.

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