Posted in December 2015, Uncategorized

Be happy – go – Green!

“People don’t want to engage with climate change because it’s not sexy. The effect is felt in out-of-way places on unseen people. But when the impact is really felt, people like us, who frankly have a carbon footprint equivalent to anyone in the West, will be hit the worst. We are absolutely not climate resilient. Take away our electricity and we are dead.”

– Author Amitav Ghosh, as TOI Guest Editor, on 02 Dec 2015. 

An introduction is certainly not required about the dangerous pollution levels that we are living amidst today. Rather let’s straightway just face it that this is the consequence of all our collective irresponsible actions. We have been just too happy-go-lucky, discovering newer ways and inventing newer technologies to make our fast paced lives more convenient and stylish and in the process, we have gone too far against Nature. But the law of Nature always prevails, so ‘what we sow, so we reap’. As we are now running out of our luck in this deadly race, it is only wiser for us to take a U-turn and start coming back home to ‘greener’ and more sustainable ways. All the accumulation of material possessions will be futile, if we can not reclaim a cleaner and healthier environment for ourselves and our future generations. More than the outcome at news making world summits on climate change, the fate of this planet depends on the net total of all individuals’ actions, as we are definitively co-creating this world with our own thoughts and actions. Standing at the crossroads, more than our expertise and resources (which we have in plenty), we have to gear up our intentions, to choose the path of sustainability, for our own survival.

If we start to look at our immediate environment, we have to perceive the prevailing city smog, river water pollution, soil contamination, filthy surroundings etc., in the light of our own day-to-day actions, mostly irresponsible and ignorant. But in this matter, ignorance is not bliss and hence we have to reform ourselves in the way we generate and dispose off garbage into the environment from our very end, every single day.

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Basic Understanding of present waste disposal

To derive the ‘dos and don’ts’, it is important for us to broadly understand what happens to the waste that we generate everyday in our homes, offices, hospitals and other places that we inhabit, and how they are processed and disposed off.

  •  Every morning our colony kudewalas (they should rather be called safaiwalas) collect garbage from our homes and dumps it at the dhalao, usually placed right outside the boundary of a residential colony.
  • The municipal Corporation vehicles collect them and carry them to landfills, where they are weighed and dumped, leveled and a layer of soil is laid over it (imagine the high landfills, which sans the stink and the flocking eagles, one would easily mistake for hills right in the middle of a city). In Delhi alone, about 8500 metric tones of daily garbage is dumped into the landfills.
  • Some corporations even outsource this job to private contractors. At about Rs 300-350 per truckload and 600-700 truck trips daily to each landfill (in Delhi), this has become a lucrative business churning lakhs of money daily, out of the garbage that we generate and dispose off without a thought. As a result, there are a whole lot of garbage mafias in operation who stand in the ways of organized reforms.
  • The mixed wastes in the landfills are then incinerated in the Waste-to-Energy (WTE) plants, releasing toxins into the air and producing not-too-rich compost.
  • Landfill gas (or LFG, roughly 50% methane, 50% CO2) is a natural byproduct of the decomposition of organic materials in landfills, and gravely damages the ozone layer.
  • Random burning of unattended garbage piles, causes severe air pollution and health hazards, more so in the middle of densely habituated areas.
  • More so often, filthy and stinking unattended garbage piles (not to forget, the poor cows who feed on them also consume the plastic bags and die of the consequences) are quite a common sight in every place in India, including the metropolitans.

So, if we realize it, we are trapped in this vicious cycle of ineffective waste generation and decomposition and the only way out is to segregate at source and compost organic waste. If we compost our organic garbage from the kitchen and accumulate dry wastes like paper, wood, metal, rubber etc (there is no segregated collection from door to door) and dispose them off only periodically (fortnightly, monthly as per quantity) to reliable dealers who will place them for recycling, then there will be hardly any waste to go into the dustbins everyday. Do we even realize the huge impact that we make through this wise act? We can completely eliminate the landfills and yes, we do not need them. All waste, dry or wet, already would be positioned for recycling or decomposing, at the right place, at the right time. Having said this, we also have to identify and out rightly eliminate items like plastic bags, diapers, sanitary napkins (which takes around 500-800 years to break down) from our lives by switching to more sustainable options.

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We have to proceed into the ‘green’ path with a very open mind – inspiring others, being inspired, knowledge sharing, learning newer things to implement. At every step, we have to mind our carbon footprints and reduce it to the minimal. Anything that is non-biodegradable, non-recyclable, or which consumes unreasonably high amount of power to recycle and emits toxic byproducts in the process, every such process and product has to come under our own scanner, while making personal lifestyle choices. So, today if we start to do our bit, collectively we can make a huge difference in our immediate futures.

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Tips to reduce one’s carbon footprints  

 This is a random list of few initiatives that we can take and certainly this can not be limited only to the following:

  1. Say NO to plastic – they choke wildlife, they don’t break down in landfills (or in oceans), they add to our demand for oil, and they aren’t easy to recycle. Always carry a cloth bag for shopping vegetables, groceries etc. (Food for thought – why do we need the typical one rupee candies, chocolates, toffees at all, they are wrapped in plastics and
  2. Segregate at source and compost organic waste. You can talk to your neighbors to develop community compost, and use the manure for parks in your residential colony.
  3. Switch to sustainable options for sanitary napkins and diapers.
  4. Use one side used papers for rough printouts at home and workplace.
  5. Donate clothes which are usable to NGOs, to distribute them among the needy. Old clothes can also be used to make carry bags and stationery holders.
  6. Develop reliability on organic products and kitchen ingredients for bodycare.
  7. If you are organizing an event/ceremony at home or workplace, ensure zero food waste. Distribute it to the needy through proper channels/NGOs working in this field.
  8. Dispose off expired medicines/ antibiotics responsibly. Recent newspaper article during Chhath puja revealed how River Yamuna is polluted with high levels of antibiotic drugs and floor cleaners.
  9. Car pool or use public transports as much as possible.
  10. Conserve water and electricity at home and workplace.
  11. Travel responsibly. Do not litter.

And the list goes on and on …..

So, be proud to take the initiative and be Happy-go-Green now!

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so much plastic for so less candy?

Some food for thought

Prakriti finally wrote a letter to the Editor of one of her favorite monthly magazines, saying:

“Dear Mr. Editor, I am a regular reader of your magazine and loved this month’s issue as much as the earlier ones. But I will value it even more, if it comes without the wrappings of a dangerous polythene sheet which does not break down at all, in even hundreds of years. Your brand does not need this shield at all. Let’s talk about our carbon footprints now.”

There will be a lot of more things, for us to question on the way and raise our concerns about.

P.S. References are taken from newspaper articles, internet articles and also informal meetings with various people, who have shared their insights, eye-opening facts, food for thoughts and have left me inspired immensely.

Please leave your comments, queries, ideas, insights, inspirations etc with us. Team Vatavaran is open to participate with you and also include your initiatives in the upcoming newsletter, if it fits the bill.

Thank You.

 

Dipali Patnaik, volunteer at Vatavaran

 

Posted in December 2015, Uncategorized

Instead of eating with eyes, we should think before we eat.

Festival season and tables full of food. Markets are offering us throughout the whole year so many varieties of food; and it is so difficult for us to decide what we will have. At home my vegetables and fruits got bad again, since I was eating out. At the restaurant, the serving was so huge I could not eat it all.

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We waste so much food. For decades, wasted food was a hidden problem – something so obvious, yet unnoticeable. We, Indians waste as much food as the whole United Kingdom consumes – a statistic that may not be so good indicator since the population of India is 18 times bigger than UK. Still, food wastage is an alarming issue in India.

 

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Weddings, canteens, hotels, social and family functions,food storage, households spew out so much of the food. Another statistic says that up to 40% of the food produced in India or in the numbers 50,000 Crore worth food is wasted every year in the country. On the other hand, India ranks 63 among 88 countries in Global Hunger Index.  On the world level, we throw away 1.3 billion tons of food each year!

Why is food wastage such a huge problem? The food industry uses ¼ of fresh water used to produce food which is ultimately wasted, even as millions of people still don’t have access to drinking water. The world produces enough food to feed twice the world′s present population, but ironically the number of hungry people has been increasing over time. Acres of land are deforested to grow food. 300 million barrels of oil are used to produce the food which is ultimately wasted. Above all, the food waste thrown to the landfills causes greenhouse gas emissions, produces toxic chemicals and adds to climate change which effects the environment drastically.

 

Let’s try to understand the food waste a little bit more. Food waste refers to the food that has been thrown away or that could not be used. It depends on the behaviour of consumers and retailers. There are two types of food waste, avoidable and unavoidable. Unavoidable food waste includes food which is no edible for human consumption, like fish bones, fat and skin, egg shells, tea bags, coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels. Yet, it can still be used for composting, converting it as a fuel or can be used for animal feeding.  Avoidable food waste includes damaged/rotten/expired food that we do not use for selling or extra food which we make – in restaurants, hotels, markets or even at our homes. We can avoid these wastage by planning carefully!!

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Unfortunately, we eat with our eyes. The food which we buy has to look good, even if that means that a little bit rotten apple will have to be thrown away. We need a diverse supply of our groceries and market is trying to fulfill all our wishes. When we celebrate birthday parties, weddings we try to “show off” with dozens of different dishes in the quantity which we cannot even imagine.  We over buy food, even if it is clear we cannot consume all of it.

How can we solve this problem? First, we have to reduce our waste and second we have to know that waste is never a waste. It is energy, a material, which can be used for some other purpose!

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At home, learn to shop and cook smarty – it will help your pocket as well. The unavoidable food waste can be composted in your garden or on your balcony. Food wastage will become a resort for new home grown food! If not, try at least to segregate it from another waste – it is the only way that food waste will be dumped in a right manner and will not affect other waste like paper and plastic which can be recycled. Instead of throwing away the uneaten food in your garbage, it can be donated to charities or NGOs in your area. One of these kind organizations is Robin Hood Army, placed in many cities across India. They will give the food to the most needed. You would not only preserve environment but also bring smiles on the unfortunate faces.

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Even if you are not working in the hospitality sector, you can still minimize food waste. Ask in the restaurants where you usually eat about their food waste management. Choose the restaurants which are zero waste or they dispose food waste responsibly. If you cannot eat everything that you have order, pack it for later.

More will have to be done to meet zero-hunger and zero-waste initiative, including the consumers, food and hospitality sector as well as the government. Collectively, we have to make transition from massive “industry of food” and excessive amount of produced food in one side of the world, and use it to stop the hunger in the other parts of the world. Both – excessive food production and hunger are killing millions of people around the world and our environment. We need to realize that food waste is harmful to the environment in the same way that any other wastage which is not managed properly. We have to avoid avoidable and properly take care of the unavoidable food waste. We need to realize that food waste is useful and could be an excellent resource.

And most of all, instead of eating with eyes, we should think before we eat.
 

Katja Polc

Member of Vatavaran team

Posted in December 2015, Uncategorized

Less paper – More trees!

In this new electronic and digitalised age people are starting to use less paper, but unfortunately there is still a long way to go in becoming a paperless dependent society.

The history of paper goes back more than 2000 years to China, where they made first crafted sheets for their drawings and writings. Before that, people communicated through pictures and symbols written on stones, bones, cave walls or clay tablets.

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These days, paper is still everywhere around us and most of it is ending in our landfills creating a huge amount of paper waste. In past, paper was a rare and precious commodity. It was initially invented as a tool for communication and to give descendants their knowledge and innovation through written words. Unfortunately, today, paper is used extensively for packaging – to be more precise it became one time used material.

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Everything that we are producing involves energy. Production of paper involves cutting trees. Deforestation is one of the biggest environmental problems and 42% of all global cut wood is used to make paper. To make a ton of paper, we have to cut down seventeen trees. India′s paper consumption has grown to 5kg per person in last decades and every year, we have to cut 85 lakhs of trees only to produce enough paper for the whole country. Among highly populated countries, India (population, 1.267 billion) has a tree population of only 35 billion, leading to just 28 trees per person. Compared to Brazil which has 301 billion trees (1,494 per person), Canada 318 billion (8,953 per person), and China 139 billion (102 trees per person). Trees are simply too important for us to cut them down. They give us oxygen, store carbon, stabilise soil, decrease air and noise pollution in the cities and more and more. Further, 324 litres of water is needed to make 1 kilogram of paper.

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It was predicted that electronic revolution will decrease the usage of paper. That did not really happen. Only the usage of paper changed.

Six centuries old solution –recycling is drastically decreasing environmental impact of paper. Unfortunately and surprisingly, we do not recycle all paper that we produce. In India, we recycled around 50% of all the paper, which tells us that still half of the paper finish as a waste.  Out of 10 kilograms of waste paper we get 5 kilograms of recycled paper. This means we have to conserve paper if we want to truly take care of our environment and conserve trees, water and energy.

As I said, Paper companies have found new ways to keep their industry growing.  People started to think about huge environmental impacts of plastic and so they started to pack things in paper bags instead, for examples, samosas in paper bags. But, we are not doing much, if we do not segregate and recycle this paper bag.

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Recycling is great! It keeps materials in use, reducing the demand for extracting and producing new materials and delaying the time before the materials become waste. But unfortunately that is not enough.  See, it goes like that – paper is better than plastic, but no waste is the best! To save trees and other important materials around us we have to not only responsibly take care of the waste but also produce less waste.

There are numbers of ways to reduce our paper waste and lower our carbon footprint.

  • Always, think before you print! Nowadays, it is rare that you actually have to print something. Also, smart phones help us to check emails any time. We can even save our notes on computer or phones. If you really have to print something, reduce the font size and print it on both sides.
  • Minimize your usage of paper. Re –use one side paper for notes!
  • Change your bills to paperless and pay them online or with phone.
  • Try to not use paper plates (Also do not use plastic ones!!). Use washable ones!
  • Ditch the disposables. Paper napkins and paper towels make up part of paper waste in our homes. Switch to cloth napkins and reusable rags to save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Rethink your grocery shopping. A large percentage of paper waste is called paperboard. Start buying more whole, fresh ingredients that do not require packaging and you can use your own reusable bags.
  • Recycle whatever you can!

Do you have more ideas on how to reduce paper wastage? Share it with us!

 

Katja Polc

Member of Vatavaran team

Posted in Blogs in Hindi - हिंदी, December 2015, Uncategorized

COP 21 – यह सब क्या है?

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COP21 को जलवायु परिवर्तन से निपटने के लिए आखिरी बड़ी उम्मीद के रूप में वर्णित किया गया है। नवम्बर के शुरू में भयानक हमले के बावजूद, फ्रांस के प्रधानमंत्री मैनुएल वाल्स ने जलवायु शिखर सम्मेलन को 30  नवंबर से 11 दिसंबर तक पेरिस में ही कराने का फैसला किया।

COP21 का मतलब “दलों का सम्मेलन” जिसमे 195 देशों से राजनेताओं ने बैठक में जलवायु परिवर्तन पर संयुक्त राष्ट्र फ्रेमवर्क कन्वेंशन पर हस्ताक्षर किए है । इन घटनाओं के बर्लिन में 1995 की बैठक के बाद से मंचन किया गया है। इसका उद्देश्य ग्लोबल वार्मिंग और जलवायु परिवर्तन से निपटने में दुनिया की प्रगति का विश्लेषण करना, साथ ही साथ समझौतों के लिए बातचीत और ग्रीन हाउस गैसों को कम करने के लिए लक्ष्य निर्धारित करना है।

इस साल पूरी दुनिया को बैठक से खासी उम्मीदें हैं। लोग विरोध प्रदर्शन का आयोजन कर रहे हैं जहाँ वे इतिहास में इस समय के महत्व को उजागर करना चाहते हैं । अगर राजनेताओं को एक ही दिशा में देख रहे हैं, तो कुछ सार्थक किया जाएगा कि एक अच्छी उम्मीद है।

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बैठक का मुख्य लक्ष्य उत्सर्जन को कम करने और 2⁰C नीचे वार्मिंग रखने के लिए एक समझौता बनाना है,  वैज्ञानिकों के अनुसार इस ग्रह के स्वास्थ्य के लिए यह जरूरी है। कई वैज्ञानिकों का विश्वास है कि हम पहले से ही 2⁰C के जादुई रेखा को पार कर चुके हैं और वर्ष 2015 सभी समय का सबसे गर्म साल गया है। सार्वजनिक जागरूकता, भयानक संकेतकों और आँकड़े ने COP21 से उम्मीदों का भारी दबाव बनाया है। लेकिन 2 ⁰C का प्रसिद्ध लक्ष्य जो जलवायु परिवर्तन की  “सुरक्षित” सीमा पेश करता है, जिसको अत्यधिक राजनीतिक विकल्प दिया गया है हमेशा लोगों की रक्षा के साथ आर्थिक व्यवधान को न्यूनतम करने की तुलना करता है।

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वहाँ सम्मेलन में आशावाद की भावनाओं का मिश्रण हैं लेकिन हमारी उम्मीदों को  बहुत अधिक नहीं होना चाहिए ।  हर किसी की 5 साल पहले का कोपेनहेगन सम्मेलन याद है  जहाँ 5 सबसे बड़े देशों (अमरीका, ब्राजील, चीन, भारत और दक्षिण अफ्रीका) एक ही समझौते को तोड़ दिया है।

लेकिन ऐसा लगता है इस वर्ष बार कड़ी मेहनत करनी  हैं और सबसे बड़ी वैश्विक चुनौती का समाधान करने के लिए सही कदम उठाना  है। अमेरिकी राष्ट्रपति ओबामा ने अस्पष्ट बयान में  कहा कि “अमेरिका इस समस्या को बनाने में अपनी भूमिका, हम इसके बारे में कुछ करने की जिम्मेदारी के बारे में भी सोचते है। ” इसके अलावा, वह अमेरिकी गवर्नरों में से एक ने एक प्रसिद्ध उद्धरण जोड़कर दोहराया कि हम पहली पीढ़ी के है जिन्होंने जलवायु परिवर्तन के प्रभाव को महसूस किया और हमारी आखिरी पीढ़ी इसके बारे में कुछ कर सकती है।

दूसरी ओर, भारतीय प्रधानमंत्री मोदी ने जलवायु परिवर्तन कार्रवाई में भारत की भूमिका के बारे में स्पष्ट किया । उन्होंने कहा कि भारत 2022 तक अक्षय ऊर्जा के 175 गिग वाट जोड़ने और वन क्षेत्र में विस्तार की बात कही। इसके अलावा, उन्होंने बताया कि विकसित देशों को बड़ी जिम्मेदारी लेनी होगी क्यूंकि वे औद्योगिक होने के लिए दशकों से पर्यावरण को नुकसान पहुँचा रहे है।  यह एक बहुत ही महत्वपूर्ण तथ्य है और ऐसा लगता है कि पश्चिमी देशों में अभी तक स्थिति में उनकी भूमिका नहीं मिली  हैं । पश्चिमी देशों को हरी प्रौद्योगिकी के क्षेत्र में अधिक निवेश और आर्थिक रूप से अभी भी विकसित कर रहे देशों का साथ देने की आवश्यकता है। सब के बाद, तीसरी दुनिया के देश कम जिम्मेदारी ले रहे है लेकिन जलवायु परिवर्तन के असर का सामना कर रहे है जैसे वर्तमान चेन्नई बाढ़  में 280 से अधिक लोगों की मृत्यु  जो की तरह जलवायु परिवर्तन के प्रभाव के कारण है। पिछले दशक में, प्राकृतिक आपदाओं की संख्या में समय के साथ वृद्धि हुई है, कोई समझ सकता है कि यह आपदाएं हमारे द्वारा प्रकृति में किये गए विकृति को  संतुलन में लाने का प्रकृति का तरीका  है।

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अमेरिका, कनाडा और चीन सहित 20 देशों के साथ भारत ने भी स्वच्छ ऊर्जा अनुसंधान के क्षेत्र में अपने निवेश को दोगुना करने का वादा किया है।

पिछले दो दशकों ने शून्य अपशिष्ट जीवन शैली और हरे शहरी नियोजन के विस्फोट देखा है। अब, हम पास जीवाश्म ईंधन और कम कार्बन जीवन शैली मिल बंद करने के लिए तकनीकी उपकरण हैं। और फिर भी, कोई बड़ी सामूहिक परिवर्तन हुआ है। यह अच्छी तरह से हमारे जीवन को बदलने के बारे में बहुत कुछ है, लेकिन जलवायु परिवर्तन के व्यक्तियों के रूप में हम से परे चला जाता है। हर जगह की तरह, पैसे इस स्थिति में एक बड़ी भूमिका अदा करता है।

हालांकि, COP21 जारी है। सभी राष्ट्रों के लिए एक जलवायु समझौते तक पहुंचने का अनूठा अवसर है क्योंकि यह कार्रवाई का समय है और दुनिया के लिए तैयार है। पृथ्वी पर हर देश जलवायु के प्रभावों को महसूस कर रहा है- मजबूत तूफान, गहरी सूखा, चरम जंगल की आग, लगातार बाढ़, समुद्र का स्तर बढ़ने और चरम तापमान। जलवायु परिवर्तन हर देश में लोगों के स्वास्थ्य, अर्थव्यवस्था और राष्ट्रीय सुरक्षा को खतरा है। सौभाग्य से, लगता है कि  यह दुनिया के नेताओं को तेजी से कार्रवाई के लिए तात्कालिकता को समझ आ गया है । ज्यादातर, यह सब दुनिया के नेताओं के हाथों में है और उम्मीद है कि सत्ता का स्वार्थ और लोभ फिर अंत में एक सही काम करने का मौका नहीं मार देगा। हमें अभी एक कार्रवाई करने की जरूरत है!

अपनी पुस्तक “यह सब कुछ बदलता है” में नाओमी क्लेन बताती है कि कैसे हमारा आर्थिक मॉडल पृथ्वी पर जीवन के खिलाफ लड़ रहा है जो हम वापस देने के लिए और देखभाल शुरू करता  है । लेकिन इससे भी ज्यादा वह हम सभी के लिए एक अलग भविष्य बनाने के लिए एक अवसर देखती है। एक कदम एक साथ लेने के लिए और जलवायु परिवर्तन के खिलाफ लड़ने के लिए सभी देशों के लिए शांति बनाने के लिए एक ही तरीका हो सकता है।

शिशिर कुमार सिंह

वातावरण सदस्य

 

Translation: Shishir Kumar, Member of Vatavaran team

Posted in December 2015, Uncategorized

COP 21 – What is it all about?

 

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COP21 has been described as the last great hope for tackling climate change. Despite the terrible attack in early November, the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls decided that climate summit will still take place in Paris from 30thNovember till 11th of December.

COP21 stands for “conference of parties” meeting of the politicians from 195 countries that signed the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate change.  These events have been staged since 1995′s meeting in Berlin. The purpose is to analyze the world′s progress at dealing with global warming and climate change, as well as to negotiate agreements and set targets for reducing greenhouse gases.

This year the whole world has great expectations from the meeting. People are organizing protests where they want to highlight the importance of this moment in the history which we cannot afford to miss. If politicians are looking in the same direction, there is a good hope that something meaningful will be done.

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The main goal of the meeting is to create an agreement to lower emissions and keep warming below 2⁰C – according to the scientists this is necessary for the health of the planet. Many scientists believe that we have already crossed the magical line of 2⁰C and the year 2015 has been the hottest year of all times. Public awareness, horrible indicators and statistics made a huge pressure of expectations from the COP21.  But this well known target of 2⁰C, which is presenting the “safe” limit of climate change has always been highly political choice that has more to do with minimizing economic disruption than with protecting people.

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There are mix feelings of optimism of the conference but our expectations may not be too high. Everyone remember the conference in Copenhagen 5 years ago where 5 the biggest countries (USA, Brazil, China, India and South Africa) broke the same agreement.

But this time it seems to be the year to work hard and take the right steps to solve the biggest global challenge. American president Obama in his vague statement said that: “America not only recognises our role in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to do something about it.”  Also, he repeated by adding a well known quote by one of the American governors that we are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it.  

On the other hand, Indian Prime Minister Modi was clearer about the role of India in the climate change action. He said that India will add 175 gig watts of renewable energy by 2022 and enlarge the forest cover. Further, he mentioned that the developed countries have to take larger responsibility because of the damage done to the environment over decades as they industrialized.  This is a very important fact and it seems like Western countries are not yet playing their role in the situation. Western countries should invest more in the green technology and financially support countries that are still developing. After all, 3rd world countries are carrying the less responsibility but facing the biggest affects of the climate changes like current Chennai flood which is one of the affects of Climate change accounting for more than 280 deaths. In the last decade, we have seen that the number of natural disasters have increased over time, one could look at these disasters as nature′s way to create the balance that has been distorted by us.

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Chennai flood

India is also among the 20 countries, including U.S, Canada and China that have pledged to double their investments in clean energy research.

The past two decades have seen explosion of zero waste lifestyle and green urban planning. Now, we have technical tools to get off fossil fuels and low-carbon lifestyle. And yet, no large collective change has happened.  It is a lot about changing our lives as well, but climate change goes beyond us as individuals. Like everywhere, money does play a huge role in the situation.

However, the COP21 is continuing. All nations have a unique opportunity to reach a climate agreement because it is time for action and the world is ready. Every nation on Earth is feeling the impacts of climate change- stronger storms, deeper droughts, extreme wildfires, frequent floods, sea level rise and extreme temperatures. Climate change threatens people′s health, economy and national security in every country.  Fortunately, it seems that world leaders increasingly understand the urgency for action. Mostly, it is all in the hands of world leaders – and hopefully selfishness and greediness for power will not again kill the opportunity to finally do a right thing.  We need an action right now!

Naomi Klein in her book “This changes everything” talks about how our economic model is waging against life on Earth to which we have to give back and start taking care of it.  But even more she sees an opportunity to create a different future for all of us. To take a step together and fight against climate change may be the only way to create peace for all Nations.

 

Katja Polc

Member of Vatavaran team