Open any newspaper or pick any article, one piece of information that you’ll surely find is about climate change and its impacts. In recent years, the world has been grappling with the severe consequences of climate change, ranging from floods, droughts and melting of glaciers to rising temperatures and sea levels. These threats are not only affecting the environment but also endangering the health and wellbeing of humans and other living beings. The impact of these environmental hazards has been felt globally, including in India. However, amidst the challenges, there is a growing sense of urgency and a
wave of positive change as individuals, businesses, and governments are stepping up to address these issues. Many countries across the world, including India are taking various sustainable initiatives to tackle climate change. Let’s see what are the impacts of climate change on India and the world, and what steps are being taken to tackle them in this blog.
Impact of Climate Change on the World and India
The impact of climate change is felt in different ways in different regions of the world. In India, the impact felt is quite significant due to its large population, extensive coastline, and dependence on agriculture. The impact of climate change is felt most acutely in developing countries, which are less able to cope with the consequences of climate change. That being said, climate change is also affecting several developed countries around the world and leading to rising sea levels, melting of glaciers, ocean acidification, and loss of biodiversity. These impacts are causing environmental, social, and economic damage.
India’s Efforts towards Climate Change and Environmental Protection
India is the 7th most affected nation due to climate change, states the Global Climate Risk Index 2021. Considering this, the Indian government has taken several measures to address climate change and protect the environment. India has set ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the share of renewable energy, and improving energy efficiency. India has also launched several initiatives such as the National Action Plan on Climate Change, National Solar Mission, and Swachh Bharat Abhiyan to address environmental challenges. Moreover, to achieve India’s goal of net zero emissions by 2070, the Union Cabinet, presided over by the Prime Minister, approved an updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) on August 3, 2022, which will be submitted for review by the UNFCCC as part of the Paris Agreement. India is also investing in innovative technologies to combat climate change. It is a leader in the development of solar energy technology, which is a clean and renewable source of energy. Furthermore, it is also investing in the development of wind energy, biofuels, and energy storage technology. These technologies have the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the impact of climate change.
The World’s Efforts towards Climate Change and Environmental Protection
The world is taking several measures to address climate change and protect the environment. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the primary international treaty aimed at addressing climate change. The Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, is a global agreement to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Several countries are leading the way in implementing sustainable solutions to address climate change and protect the environment. Denmark is actively implementing sustainable solutions, with wind turbines and solar panels supplying over 50% of the country’s electricity today. China is the largest producer of solar energy in the world with a staggering production of 392 GW power. China is closely followed by the United States Of America, Japan, Germany & India. Costa Rica is a leader in renewable energy, with over 98% of its electricity generated from renewable sources.
Role of Individuals in Promoting Sustainable Solutions
Being Climate Conscious is the New Cool:
One of the most encouraging trends is the rise of climate consciousness among the younger generation. The new-age youth are born into a culture that emphasises the importance of protecting the environment. They are actively engaging in climate activism, demanding change, and holding governments and businesses accountable. Moreover, the widespread use of communication technology has significantly contributed to raising general awareness about climate change among people of all age groups. This increased awareness is inspiring individuals to take action in their everyday lives. As more and more awareness is created around this issue, there’s an increasing scope for newer and innovative solutions for it.
Innovative Ventures and Sustainable Businesses:
The need for sustainable practices has given rise to innovative ventures and businesses in India and across the world. Entrepreneurs are embracing recycling and upcycling to reduce waste. They are manufacturing non-plastic, biodegradable utensils, appliances, and low-waste producing clothing. These initiatives not only help combat environmental hazards but also create a market for eco-friendly products, encouraging more sustainable consumption patterns. Furthermore, sustainable businesses are adopting various measures to minimize their environmental impact. Many companies are using solar panels for energy, implementing zero-paper policies, and utilising recycled water. These efforts contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and conserving valuable resources, while also setting an example for others to follow.
Adoption of Electric Vehicles and Smarter Travels:
Transportation is a significant contributor to climate change, but the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) offers a promising solution. EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions, helping to reduce air pollution and reliance on fossil fuels. Some of the popular choices in this area are electric two-wheelers, E-Rickshaws, as well as electric cars. Governments and private companies in India are actively promoting EVs through incentives, infrastructure development, and awareness campaigns. Additionally, smarter travel options like carpooling, cycling, and public transportation are gaining popularity, further reducing the carbon footprint of daily commuting.
Trending Cleanliness Drives:
Cleanliness drives have become a social media trend, inspiring individuals and communities to take action. From local clean-up campaigns to installing wastewater treatment plants, people are actively working towards creating cleaner and more sustainable living environments. Schools, hotels, apartments, and even individuals are embracing waste management practices, contributing to the reduction of pollution and promoting a cleaner future for all.
Conscious Use of Energy and Resources:
Individuals can make a significant impact by consciously using energy and resources. Simple actions such as unplugging electronic devices when not in use, purchasing energy-efficient products, and switching to renewable energy sources at home contribute to reducing personal carbon footprints. By using only what is necessary and maximising energy efficiency, individuals can actively contribute to mitigating climate change.
Adoption and Cost-Effectiveness of Cleaner Energy Resources:
Solar energy has emerged as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative. The decreasing cost of solar panels has made them more accessible to individuals and businesses. As more people adopt solar panels, the strain on urban power plants is reduced, resulting in a cleaner and more sustainable energy system. While the adoption of solar energy is on the rise, there is still a need for wider acceptance to make a significant difference.
In conclusion, the world, including India, is witnessing a remarkable shift towards adapting to climate change and other environmental hazards. From the increasing awareness and engagement of the younger generation to the emergence of sustainable businesses and the adoption of cleaner energy resources, the momentum for change is growing. By taking collective action at an individual, societal, and governmental level, we can pave the way for a sustainable future, ensuring a healthier planet for generations to come. Let us embrace this opportunity and be the change we wish to see.