By Rajendra Shende, Chairman TERRE Policy Centre, Former Director UNEP
COVID 19 is a health crisis. It has socked the world. But the next crisis would be related to Climate, runaway global warming. I call it CLIMA30.
If we do not act on the carbon-neutral pathway suggested by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) no amount of social distancing, isolation, and washing of hands would help. Many say that there may not be enough water to frequently wash the hands. And social distancing would be of no use as we all have to hold hands together to cross the flooded streets and cling to each other to cross the inundated rivers.
We have to get ready to drive the world to become carbon neutral meaning become net-zero emissions of Carbon Dioxide.
The world would have to curb its carbon emissions by at least 50% of 2017 levels by 2030 and then achieve 100 percent carbon neutrality by 2050 if we have to meet the high-end target of Paris Climate agreement of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. The world has already warmed by 1 °C, humanity has till 2030 after which, if the present trends continue, the possibility of runaway climate change can drive us in uncontrollable environmental disaster almost equivalent to sixth extinction.
And the worst scenario would be such a climate crisis leading to a pandemic.
My article appeared in the most circulated and enthusiastically read newspaper in Marathi, Lokmat recently, which translates as “ COVID19 to CLIMA30”
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