Vital problem in environmental protection

The United Nations conference on climate change sounded the alarm about potentially serious impacts to ecosystems in the coming decades, even as the world is pushing for the reduction of carbon emissions. In the state of irreversible climate “tipping points”, people need to adapt and act urgently to protect the environment.

A power plant in Banten province, Indonesia, 2010. (Photo: Reuters)
A power plant in Banten province, Indonesia, 2010. (Photo: Reuters)

With the participation of representatives of 200 countries and territories from around the world, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted the urgent need for adaptation. In some cases, this means that adaptation to extreme heat waves, flash floods and sea level rise is becoming a matter of survival.

A researcher at the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations in Paris, co-author of the IPCC report, said that, even if solutions to reduce carbon emissions are found, the world still needs measures to help adapt to climate change.

The IPCC report with the participation of hundreds of scientists confirmed that the Earth's temperature will almost certainly increase by more than 1.5C within the next 10 years. To date, the temperature at the Earth's surface has already increased by 1.1C compared to the 19th century.

Meanwhile, according to the Paris Agreement on climate change, the parties committed to limit the Earth's temperature increase to below 2C, and ideally below 1.5C. Therefore, this IPCC report is a warning for countries to step up more ambitious goals in the fight against climate change.

Calculations show that global warming has exacerbated the risk of species extinctions, ecosystem collapses, mosquito-borne diseases, deadly heat, shortages of fresh water, reduced crop production, and so on. In 2021 alone, the world witnessed a series of floods, prolonged heat waves and unprecedented wildfires across four continents.

The US special envoy on climate change John Kerry said that the world is not yet on track to achieve the global goal of avoiding the most negative impacts of climate change, therefore it is necessary to increase the use of environmentally friendly energy sources to replace fossil fuels in this decade.

In the context that countries are struggling to find ways to implement the commitments made at COP26, the financial difficulty seems to make countries helpless. Even the world's number one economy is facing financial hurdles, as US President Joe Biden struggles to find the billions of US dollars in financing needed to realise his government's climate pledge.

The gap in the fight against climate change between rich and poor countries is also widened by financial problems, and this gap further hinders the achievement of common global climate goals.

Egypt will host the COP27 Summit this November and, as the host, aims to mobilise finance to support developing countries, as well as to transfer clean energy technology to African countries that are among the groups most affected by climate change.

Meanwhile, in order to promote the role of Chairman of the Group of Seven (G7), German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged that Germany will promote the establishment of a “climate club” with members of many leading economies this year, with the aim of unifying common standards for climate protection and avoiding competitive disadvantages as countries transform their economies to achieve carbon neutrality.

Warnings and action plans were issued in the fight against climate change, a global vital issue. In the context that there is not much time left for this tough fight, countries, especially rich ones, are encouraged to make more ambitious commitments. However, realising the statements made at the conferences requires the solidarity, determination and specific actions of each country in the joint efforts to combat climate change worldwide.