One World, One Climate & One Economy

Climate change is increasingly devastating the world’s ecosystems. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia, since 1995, has lost over 50% of its corals. Scientific studies are showing that all the different types of corals have been affected in varying degrees by this rise in water temperature. Rising global temperatures is resulting in the loss of ice caps and glaciers which is causing the increase in the sea-level. Arctic ice caps are melting. Greenland is estimated to have lost over 15% of its total ice cover, matching the worst-case scenario predicted by climate scientists. The world is also witnessing a rise in the frequency and intensity of storms, cyclones and erratic weather, which are resulting from global warming, caused by climate change.

Climate change is at the forefront of international issues in today’s time as countries scramble to find a way to cut down on emissions and achieve carbon neutrality. More and more countries are sanctioning laws that conserve the environment and cease environmentally destructive activities. The issue is attracting the attention of a wide range of global citizens and citizen activists. Young climate activists have been seen lobbying for changes in laws and government actions in order to preserve the environment and stop global warming before it is too late. In 2016, 196 states signed the Paris Climate Accord whose goal is to keep the global temperature rise under 2°C.

However, what sticks out like a sore thumb among all these endeavors, is the people and Government, who deny climate change. Trump administration was of the opinion that the scientific consensus regarding climate change was not tenable. They worked under the belief that climate change and global warming were hoaxes and hence, would not have devastating effects on the planet and the life it supports. Trump’s environmental policies represented a deviation from the policies of the Obama administration. Trump had repealed 98 environmental rules and regulations while leaving another 14 in progress.

Trump pulled USA out of the Paris Climate Accord. Nonetheless, much of the measures taken by the Joe Biden administration have aimed to reverse the policies of his predecessor, and have been characterized as a return to the Obama administration’s climate change policy of reducing CO2 emissions   President Biden fulfilled his promise to rejoin the Paris Agreement. On account of rejoining the Paris Agreement, he launched a whole-of-government process known as the “nationally determined contribution” (NDC), which is a formal submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), organized through his National Climate Task Force. President Biden also announced a new target of reducing net greenhouse gas pollution by almost 50-52 percent till 2030 by positioning American workers and industry to tackle the climate crisis.   

According to a 2017 survey of independent economists looking at the effects of climate change estimated that economic damages may range “from 2% to 10% or probably more of global GDP per year. The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change for the British Government also predicted that world GDP would be reduced by several percent due to climate related costs. This calculation does not consider the ecological effects of the climate change as they may be difficult to quantify economically (e.g. human deaths or loss of biodiversity). According to the IMF, the world economy, comprising 194 economies, in 2021 is projected around US$94 trillion in nominal terms. A 10% conservative decline of 10%, which translates into US$9 trillion will send various countries into deep recession and push millions of people back into poverty. Humanity needs to come together to solve the crises. Each one has to act as a change agent for achieving the common objective. We need to remember that despite our geographical segregations, we are part of the same mother nature and this planet is our only home.

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