March 22, 2022, 12:27 p.m. by Karuwaki Speaks ( 171 views)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement of five emissions pledges at the global climate meet in Glasgow in October 2021 was a promise to take steps towards controlling India's emissions.
India's five new pledges are: net-zero emissions by 2070, and by 2030 achieving non-fossil fuel energy capacity of 500 GW, 50% energy requirements from renewable sources, reducing total projected carbon emissions by 1 billion tonnes and reducing the carbon intensity of the economy to less than 45%.
In a welcome move, climate action has been highlighted as one of the priority areas in the budget 2022/23, along with inclusive development, energy transition, financing of investments, among others. Climate change induced heat waves, hurricanes, droughts, and rising sea levels are already having a negative impact on the environment with almost all communities bearing the brunt of it.
Through the voluntary vehicle scrapping policy, funds for tackling air pollution, battery swapping policy, allocation for waste management to reduce plastic waste, the Government has shown that climate change is an area of immediate priority for the nation but it is imperative to define a structured framework for the realisation of its potential.Unfortunately, the budget has allocated Rs 30 crore towards the Climate Change Action Plan and Rs 60 crore towards National Adaptation Fund, with no increase from last year.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, vulnerable countries are better off adopting Climate-Resilient Development Pathways (CRDP) i.e. "trajectories that strengthen sustainable development at multiple scales and efforts to eradicate poverty through equitable societal and systems transitions and transformations while reducing the threat of climate change through ambitious mitigation, adaptation and climate resilience".
The adaptation plans for Indian cities currently focus only on one or two risks while ignoring the compounding nature of disasters such as tropical cyclones coinciding with heatwaves and urban droughts.India lost 5.04 million hectares of crop area to cyclonic storm, flash floods, floods, landslides and cloudbursts till November 25, 2021. Climate disasters are also a huge burden on the exchequer. Just two cyclones – Yaas and Tauktae in 2021 – alone cost India $4.5 billion.
The IPCC report released on 28th February,2022 says,as the risk to extreme weather conditions increase, the adaptive capacity of local communities will be threatened, especially low-income marginalised communities.Building an infrastructure that can stand regular events of extreme weather needs to be prioritised.With soaring temperature's everyone has started focussing on AC.
Airconditioning units are bad for the environment. The hydrofluorocarbons(HFCs) and chlorofluorocarbons(CFCs) emit pollutants that put holes in the ozone.These chemical compounds are responsible for keeping you cool on hot summer days, in air-conditioners and refrigerators.With the invention of Freon in 1928,Freon was hailed as a “miracle.” It made the modernist skyscraper—with its sealed windows and heat-absorbing materials—possible. It made living in the desert possible & architecture could also ignore local climate.
AC systems require enormous amounts of energy to operate, and fossil fuels burned for electricity contribute to ozone depletion.The ozone layer absorbs the worst of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.Without stratospheric ozone, life as we know it is impossible. A 1 percent decline in the ozone layer’s thickness results in thousands of new cases of skin cancer. Greater depletion would lead to crop failures, the collapse of oceanic food systems, and, eventually the destruction of all life on Earth.
Research suggests that exposure to constant air-conditioning can prevent our bodies from acclimatizing to hot weather, so those who find comfort in constant Airconditioning,will in the end,become more vulnerable to heat-related illness.It's time to start becoming comfortable with discomfort & regulate airconditioning as it's the only sustainable way out.We face an uncertain future & the clock is ticking.