There is no gain saying that climate change and other forms of environmental hiccups have adversely affected our natural system with attendant rising cases of pandemic being recorded across the world.
All these are pointers to the fact that the Mother Earth has been stressed beyond the limit and the need for us to harness the available opportunities to RESTORE THE EARTH as emphasised in this year’s Earth Day celebration.
The fact that the 2nd day of the event lined up in commemorating year 2021 Earth Day is being held in parallel to the Biden Administration’s Global Climate Change Summit afford us the privilege to appraise the commitment of the World Leaders in addressing the issue of climate change and environmental degradation since the inception of Earth Day in 1970 and Paris Agreement to reduce carbon emission since 2016.
Emphatically, there is need for paradigm shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both the people and the planet. This explains the reason for USA to join other 40 world leaders in the global climate fights and to galvanize actions to keep the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degree centigrade within reach.
The question is can we take the world leaders serious in stemming climate action plans regarded as National Determined Contributions (NDC) as amended’?
While the USA pledges to cut her global emission in half with 50%-52% reduction below 2005 levels by the end of this decade, China another major emitter of carbon reiterate her commitment to net zero green house gases by the year 2030. China on her part has decided to close down 588 coal-fired plants to meet its climate pledges.
In his view, President Biden opined that the world has waited too long in creating jobs and tackling climate change. USA government has therefore decided to empower her citizens through the building of more resilient infrastructure, expanding access to clean air and drinking water, spur technological innovations and create good paying, union jobs along the way.
To the rest of the world, all these affirmations are considered as hook, line and sinkers not until they are manifested.
China was reported to be building more coal plants to stimulate her economy and allowing farm emissions of methane, another greenhouse planet heating gas while inconsistent in US government policy as experienced in the last couple of years is also another setback.
Ironically, countries like Bangladesh with emission rate of below 1% has been feeling the brunt of the lackadaisical attitudes and inconsistency of some of these top greenhouse emitters.
At least 6 million people are dispossessed each year by coastal erosion and the lives of more than 9 million children are being threatened annually in Bangladesh.
Covid-19 has claimed more than 60,000 lives in Argentina, a country with emission level of not more than 1%. Cases of flooding, extreme weather, drought, erratic rainfall patterns have bedevilled many other nations that could be regarded as low emitter of carbon.
There is therefore a need for the world to be proactive and be committed in keeping the global climate below 1.5 degree centigrade to avoid impending global catastrophes.
To this end, Netlink Environmental Conservation Organisation/ Environmental Conservation Clubs and Environmental Conservation Volunteers are throwing their weight behind the recently launched CLIMATE LITERACY CAMPAIGN urging government across the World to make climate literacy and environmental conservation education a core feature of the school curriculum at all levels.
Sunday Oladipo Oladeji
Member of Netlink Environmental Conservation Organisation.