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Climate Change: A Challenge To Human Race

07 Nov, 2019

We recently had United Nations Climate Summit as a followup to the Paris Accord of 2015. Global emissions are reaching record levels and show no sign of peaking. The last four years were the four hottest on record, and winter temperatures in the Arctic have risen by 3°C since 1990. Sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying, and we are starting to see the life-threatening impact of climate change on health, through air pollution, heatwaves and risks to food security. The impacts of climate change are being felt everywhere and are having very real consequences on people’s lives. Climate change is disrupting national economies, costing us dearly today and even more tomorrow. But there is a growing recognition that affordable, scalable solutions are available now that will enable us all to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies.  Almost all the developing countries are experiencing a major demographic transition from a rural, agrarian society to an urban, industrial spectrum. As indicated by the UN, by 2050 or so 70% of the global population will reside in urban areas, literally doubling up from what it stood as few years.

India and China will be key nations in the segment of rural to urban migration. Urbanisation is the increase in the proportion of people living in towns and cities. Urbanisation is defined by the United Nations as the movement of people from the rural areas of a country to the urban areas. It has direct correlation with carbon emissions. Stress on urban infrastructure with more consumption of food and energy.  Close to three in five cities worldwide with at least 500,000 inhabitants are at high risk of a natural disaster, cautions United Nations Department Of Economic And Social Affairs in its latest data booklet, The World’s Cities in 2018. Collectively, these cities are home to 1.4 billion people or around one third of the world’s urban population. The latest analysis shows that if we act now, we can reduce carbon emissions within 12 years and hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C.  UN Secretary-General António Guterres called upon all leaders to lay down concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.