Increasing temperature in the atmosphere is the cause of deterioration of climate across the world. It has led to melting of snow and glaciers in the Himalayan region with more frequent flooding in the low lying areas that pose threats to a large number of people in different parts of the world. The rapid rise in temperature has hampered the entire ecosystems while adaptation mechanisms have gone haywire in many places. Allowing global warming to continue for the next 40 years will result in a sharper change in temperature and greater consequences to the people. This is one of the issues that have come up prominently in the ongoing 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
It’s a common knowledge that the advanced industrialised nations that have used large quantities of fossil fuels mainly bear the blame for increasing the temperature across the world. However, the developing and underdeveloped nations too have been affected by the problem in the same manner. Naturally the advanced nations have a greater role to play to reverse the situation. But they long refused to do enough in this regard. Besides they wanted the developing countries like Brazil, India, China and South Africa to do as much as themselves while these developing nations maintained that the advanced countries must make bigger sacrifices as it is them who polluted the earth in the first place. It’s decades since they had been engaged in negotiations and in 2016 they came up with Paris Agreement, a deal to bring nations together to work towards the common goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But soon after Donald Trump came to power, the United States withdrew from this momentous agreement, though a number of states in the federation are still working in line with the provisions of this accord.
Meanwhile, the weaker nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America that played no or negligible roles in spiking global temperature have been unduly affected by the unwise actions of the European and North American nations. The more vulnerable the nations, the harsher the consequences; Nepal is one such country experiencing the melting of ice on the Himalayas and drying up of fresh water at an unprecedented pace. This is what Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Gyawali noted in his address to the 74th session of the UNGA. He said the vulnerable countries were facing undue consequences of climate change and drew the attention of the global community for a fair mechanism to tackle the problem. Everyone knows that no single country, even the most advanced one, can do much alone in this regard, hence Minister Gyawali highlighted the importance of multilateralism to combat global problems including climate change. It is also necessary for sustainable development in all regions of the world.
The youths across the world have been holding demonstrations to build pressure on global leaders for taking effective measures to tackle climate change and the governments across the world need to pay heed to their concern. Obviously, the advanced countries, including the USA, should take more responsibility while the developing ones should contribute their share. They need to conduct researches together and organise training and awareness campaigns involving as many people as possible. There will always be some resistance, but if all the responsible, capable people act from their respective places, we will ultimately come through alright.