If we talk about the environment problems of the world, climate change can be considered as one among them. Climate change refers to the change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which in addition to natural climate variability observed over time periods. Around the globe, seasons are shifting, temperatures are climbing, and wild life at risk and sea levels are rising. There can be various reasons for such an alarming situation. Environmentalist are worried due to this issue as it is worldwide and effecting every living organism on the earth.
One reason for the climate change is Global warming. The heat trapped in the earth’s atmosphere resulting from excess greenhouse gases such as Carbon Dioxide (CO2). These naturally occurring gases including Methane (CH4) & Nitrous Oxide (No2) form a layer in the atmosphere reflecting the sun’s rays back down to the earth. These gases are exacerbated in the atmosphere by fossil fuels which are used for energy (coal and oil) and the alteration to our natural landscape. This has an unnatural warming effect on our fragile environment. (Clean Up our Climate, 2011) The effects of climate change in the world can be seen everywhere on ecosystems, economies and communities. Rising average temperatures do not simply mean balmier winters. Some regions will experience more extreme heat while others may cool slightly. Flooding, drought and intense summer heat could result. All the three important systems of our earth Geology, Biology and the Ecology system are showing the drastic difference in terms of changes in the atmosphere to vulnerability of wild life. All the countries are worried about this major problem. Certain steps should be taken in account to reduce this problem.
Steps taken by the countries on the alarming issue of Climate change
- It has been widely recognized that climate change is a threatening problem. It is a need that all the countries should come together to find different ways out to solve the problem. The various steps which are taken by the countries can be summarized as follows:
- Reducing our energy consumption: A large reduction would probably be achieved in the industrialized countries just by raising taxes on fossil fuel consumption can be reduced to some extent.
Improving public transport and rail freight: Sometimes they are generally poorly run by ineffective state-owned monopolies. Open them wisely to competition and they will become a better run, more attractive and play a greater role in CO2 reduction.
- Developing renewable energies, which include biomass fuels, wind turbines, solar panels and geothermal energy. Although renewable sources could and should be more utilized, there are limits to their generalization at the present state of the technology. (Green balance, 2008)
- Bio fuels can be used right now in existing cars and trucks, mixed with gasoline or diesel – and they make the combustion cleaner and reduce urban pollution.
- Wind turbines are also an excellent solution in several instances. Unfortunately, if it had to become the only energy source, a significant part of the land would be covered with wind turbines.
- Solar heating panels are already very effective for producing hot water or heating swimming pools.
- Geothermal energy is widely used in some volcanic countries like Iceland where it is easily available. There are probably many other volcanic regions where it could be developed, possibly for producing hydrogen but with current technologies the potential is limited.
The resilience to climate change of Kerala State
The State of India which falls in the South part of the country is going to launch a long term programme for restoration of the climate change. Although Kerala lies close to the equator, its proximity with the sea and the presence of the fort like Western Ghats, provides it with an equable climate which varies little from season to season. The temperature varies from 28° to 32° C. Southwest Monsoon and Retreating Monsoon (Northeast Monsoon) are the main rainy seasons. Climate change in the state is affecting badly to the flora and fauna of the state. Sometimes there is sudden increase or decrease of the rain and temperatures in summer season. There were various observations of the environmentalist which shows that certain steps should be taken to protect or to reduce the problems which are occurring through the climate change. (Department of Environment and Climate change, 2011) Armed with a stimulus from the Centre, Kerala is all set to launch a long-term programme to develop resilience to climate change. The Ministry of Forest, Environment, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has approved the Kerala State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC), strengthening the hands of the State in taking up a slew of climate change mitigation and adaptation projects.
As quoted in newspaper ‘ The Hindu’ The five-year package envisages a budget requirement of Rs.1,170 crore for projects in eight key sectors, namely agriculture and animal husbandry, fisheries and coastal ecosystem, forest and biodiversity, water resources, health, energy, urban front, and transport and tourism. According to the projected climate change scenario, the atmospheric temperature across Kerala would rise by 2 degrees Celsius by 2050. It estimates that if the sea level rises by one metre, 169 sq km of the coastal region surrounding Kochi would be inundated. (T.Nandankumar, 2015)
The principles adopted for the National Action Plan for Climate Change include achieving sustainable development path while advancing economic and environmental objectives. The following points form the basis of the national strategy.
- Protecting the poor and vulnerable sections of society through an inclusive and sustainable development strategy, sensitive to climate change.
- Achieving national growth objectives through a qualitative change in direction that enhances ecological sustainability, leading to further mitigation of GHG emissions.
- Devising efficient and cost effective strategies for end user Demand side management.
- Deploying appropriate technologies both for adaptation and mitigation of GHG emissions extensively as well as at an accelerated pace.
- Engineering new and innovative market, regulatory and voluntary mechanisms to promote sustainable development.
- Effecting implementation of programmes through unique linkages including with civil society and local government institutions and through public private partnerships. (Kerala, 2009)
Strategies which can be useful to deal with climate change are as follows
- Local models can be created and through which various programmes and policies can be designed to solve the problem of climate change.
- Enriching the natural resources of the state by identifying them and protect them as much as possible by the public and the government.
- Building the capacity of the stakeholder communities and institutions for realizing and coping up with the impacts and devising methods based on the local knowledge and experiences.
Adoption and benefits of the model to other states:
Other states of the country can adopt this model in order to save the environment and to protect their biodiversity. Every state is not same as one another. The state which wants to adapt the model should first recognize the type of climate and also the biodiversity. According to different climatic conditions of the state various policies and programmes can be adopted. To save the climate change means to decrease the emissions of CO2 in the environment and that can be done when the state produce the natural energy. It can be done when we know about the resources of the state and how to utilize at its fullest and in a judicious way. If the state is having industries then rules or policies should be framed in such a manner that emissions should not be more than the desired limit. Politicization of climate science can be done and a mandatory course can be produce so that every citizen of the state or country understands the importance of the threat known as ‘Climate change’.
Clean Up our Climate. (2011, March 5). Retrieved April 27, 2015, from Global Change: http://www.cleanup.org.au/au/CleanUpOurClimate/climateissues.html
Department of Environment and Climate change. (2011, March 6). Retrieved April 25, 2015, from Kerela Government : http://www.envt.kerala.gov.in/
Green balance. (2008, June 26). Retrieved April 23, 2015, from Climate change and global warming: http://www.greenbalance.org/about/index.htm
KERALA, G. O. (2009). RESPONSE TO CLIMATE CHANGE: STRATEGY AND ACTION. THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE.
T.Nandankumar. (2015, April 20). Nod for climate change action plan. THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Kerala, India.
About the Author
Ms. Pranjali Dighe is currently pursuing her Masters at Centre for Studies in Social Management, Central University of Gujarat. She has been associated with reputed government institutes like GIDR (Gujarat Institute of Development Research). She is currently associated with GEMI (Gujarat Environmental Institute), Government of Gujarat as an intern. She has extensively worked on issues of women health. Her current research areas include women empowerment, inclusion of marginalized population in mainstream development. She has presented and written papers in international journals and conferences. Currently, she is interning with the Model Governance Foundation.