While the world is still swinging between economy and ecology and the debates are on for what must be the priority, there stands a very clear answer which is not visible to our leaders or maybe they just want to ignore it smartly! The answer is ‘better life conditions for all’. I chose to mention ‘life’ over ‘living’ because better living conditions can be obtained or purchased, but better life conditions demands our genuine efforts to maintain our surroundings, keep the air that we inhale clean, safeguard the purity of our rivers and forest belt stable. It’s been so long since we are bound to live in harmful conditions, knowingly or unknowingly but our health is getting affected and we are surely not working hard and paying taxes to purchase any sort of disease and then to spend our hard-earned money on our medical bills!
2015: It’s now or never
The time has come to absolutely deny the present situation in which we all are living and stand against Climate Change for it is now or never, and we really are not left with any other option! 2050 has to be surely our year, a clean and green year and we all need to make it so. Right now, there are some crucial debates going on at the global platforms about long term climate goals leading up to 2050. We need to get our government to agree with science and set a global goal to aim for zero emissions by 2050 because that will help us in achieving a cool living condition at least below 2 degrees of global warming. Scientists have been shouting about this universal fact that if no reasonable steps in the direction of preventing climate change are taken quickly then we are going to be in a lot of trouble and its only we who will be responsible for that. The bad news is that climate change has actually started taking toll now and the recent examples are the extreme heat waves which swallowed hundreds of lives in Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Climate change is already happening at a very fast pace and we need to match our preventive steps with its speed but the good news is that we still have hope left and the target of achieving a carbon free and pollution free world is not impossible!
Clean development: Renewable energy revolution
We see a lot of buzz that our Ministry of Environment makes in the news and public speeches and also promises to make some doable policies to fight with climate change but in reality, the work is going on at a very slow pace and also it seems that there is a lack of will to draft zero emission policies. Our government needs to understand that a country can’t be developed at the cost of its people! What is the use of such development if it’s affecting people’s lives? The need of the hour is to opt for renewable energy as a friend in the journey of development. India, right now, needs a renewable revolution and it must be given priority at every level.
Fossils need to be kept in the grounds only and in most of the countries this revolution has already started and people are taking an active part along with the local administration. In order to make sure that India may not lag behind in this run for a clean and green future, what is demanded from our leaders right now is to make and present clear cut environment friendly policies at COP21 at Paris which state a bold clear plan about how the climate change will be treated and what steps will be taken to cut on our use of coal and carbon emission. When the UAE can step forward and move ahead by developing one complete city with clean energy source, then India should really think seriously about what it needs to do now. Masdar city has made the UAE emerge as the epicenter in renewable energy in the Middle East. Denmark is already heading for 100% full renewable power!
India demands a change now, and it should involve not only the government but its people as well. There is a strong need that people must move towards a sustainable lifestyle. They can cut their carbon foot-prints by adopting some easy way outs in their daily life for e.g. carpooling, cycling or using public transport as an option. It is estimated that in the coming years there will be a huge shortage of clean drinking water in the world and of course, India will not be untouched by it. The reason is very simple, the water table is going down year by year and people are not stopping themselves from wasting fresh water. Hence, to prevent water for the generations to come we have to safeguard it and check our actions. Governments at national and state level can start projects related to rain water harvesting or some other solutions. India is one such nation which gets maximum amount of sun light round the year and it can make the most out of solar power! Still there are thousands of villages in our country which are waiting for electricity and are bound to live in darkness and solar power can do wonders in this direction. Recent studies and Harvard reports have come up with the view that stopping the use of fossils and replacing it with renewable source could not only save millions of dollars on health costs but will also benefit the economy of a country as a whole.
A Himalayan tragedy
The Himalayas have already started melting due to extreme global warming and unstable climate conditions which is not a good sign at all. This was the reason behind the Kedarnath tragedy which took hundreds of innocent pilgrims’ lives in 2013. Still, the danger is not over as the Himalayas continues to melt and this time the effects will be double and the water will almost wash away the low-lying nearby cities and areas completely. We need to stop all this before all is finished.
Why India matters: Clean & Green
India, with its long term goals, also needs to make some short-term achievable goals before the Paris talks and should show its commitment towards zero emission. Although the path will not be very easy for a developing nation like India but cutting on carbon now in its developing phase will not only benefit its future global position but will also benefit its economy. Renewable market is already increasing at a fast pace globally and in India also it has started spreading at a good speed. Many big energy brands have started jumping into the field of solar power and other renewable sources and the competition has already started. With this, new horizons for job-seekers are open and the renewable sector will surely create more jobs. The Indian government only needs to encourage and convince more corporate giants to set-up new industries and plants focusing clean energy. At the local level, skill development schools and training centers providing know-how and spreading awareness regarding clean energy should be encouraged. The Indian government must also take some crucial steps and draft such policies that make it stand out at the global platform as a leader in the fight against climate change.
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