Don’t look away from climate change

The choice is between existence and extinction. It’s a ‘now or never’ situation as humanity faces the unprecedented impact of climate change. Climate action can no longer be put off, nor can the world afford to continue bickering over funding and technology transfers. In the last few years, even Arunachal Pradesh has witnessed extreme weather due to climate change. The heavy rainfall received in October this year surprised everyone. Also, last year, many places received snowfall, much to the shock and surprise of environmentalists.

As United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres summed up during his speech at the ongoing global climate summit, COP27, in Egypt, we are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator. The uncontrolled rise in greenhouse gas emissions and global temperatures has made climate chaos irreversible. More than ever before, international cooperation is needed today to reverse the trend and avert the catastrophe. One of the important reasons for the present sluggish progress in climate action is the rich countries’ reluctance to expedite the transition from fossil fuels and give adequate funds and technology to poorer nations to tackle climate change. Underprivileged countries, mostly from the African continent, where the summit is underway, have repeatedly sought compensation from rich nations for losses caused by climate-induced disasters.

There is a growing chorus of demand to hold fossil fuel companies accountable and make them pay for the damage they have caused to the planet. These companies must contribute to funds that would provide vulnerable countries with financial aid for climate-related losses. As global leaders gather at Sharm-El-Sheikh in Egypt, it is to be hoped that the fight against climate change will gather momentum and honest efforts to save the planet will start.