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Climate Change – A Contemplative Issue in Today’s Society

Dr. Anamika Sharma

Senior Researcher, Department of Chemistry, Prayoga, Bengaluru

The importance of forests has been well versed by Nund Rishi, a famous Kashmiri Sufi saint who said in Kashmiri

Ann poshi teli yeli wann poshi”, meaning “Food will last as long as forest lasts

Long-term variations in temperature and weather patterns were known to occur naturally until late 1800. However, post 18th century this variation drastically increased mainly due to human activities. Such variation in temperature and weather patterns also known as “climate change” is an unsettled matter of 21st century which is disrupting every living thing on earth.1-4 Due to human intervention, emission of green-house gasses is witnessed which traps the heat from the sun and elevates surface temperature of earth. The burning of fossil fuels or motor emission leads to the emission of sulfur dioxide (SO2) or nitrogen oxides (NOx) into the atmosphere, which reverts back from atmosphere to earth as acid rain when mixed with water and O2.5-7 Since the last century, it led to the serious destruction to the green forest, water bodies and vegetation. This impact of acid rain leads to climate change which is directly related to human cause (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Human impact on climate change and acid rain

Changing weather patterns, droughts, floods, melting glaciers, storms etc. are direct impact of climate change in the due course of time. This directly is related to the changes occurred in the water cycle and carbon footprint. The emission of greenhouse gases (related to carbon footprint) directly hampers the water cycle which is the driving force for the climate change which continues to rise at an alarming level. If no action taken, the projected temperature is likely to rise by 3 °C in the 21st century.

Owing to massive disruption caused by Climate Change globally,8, 9 Indian government launched National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) on 30th June 2008 to mitigate the climate change which outlines eight National Missions10 (Figure 2):

  • National Solar Mission: Aims to make solar energy as competitive energy source compared to fossil fuels

  • National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency: Aims to reduce energy consumption in municipal, buildings and agriculture sectors. Also, to provide low taxes on energy efficient appliances

  • National Mission of Sustainable Habitat: Aims to emphasize on waste management and recycling and also to promote energy efficiency as a core component of urban planning

  • National Water Mission: Aims to improve 20% water use efficiency

  • National Mission for a Green India: To promote afforestation of 6 million hectares of forest land (to increase forest cover from 23% to 33%)

  • National Mission of Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem: Aims to prevent glaciers melting and also protect the Himalayan biodiversity

  • National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture: Aims for the development of climate-resilient crops, expansion of weather insurance mechanisms, and agricultural practices

  • National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change: The plan visualizes a new Climate Science Research Fund, to improve climate modelling, and increasing international collaboration

Figure 2. Eight National Missions of National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC)

The principles of this NAPCC plan are outlined as(10):

  • Protecting the poor through an inclusive and sustainable development strategy, sensitive to climate change

  • Achieving national growth and poverty alleviation objectives while ensuring ecological sustainability

  • Efficient and cost-effective strategies for end-use demand-side management

  • Extensive and accelerated deployment of appropriate technologies for adaptation and mitigation

  • New and innovative market, regulatory, and voluntary mechanisms for sustainable development

  • Effective implementation through unique linkages – with civil society, LGUs, and public-private partnerships

By releasing the NAPCC, Indian Government has shown the country’s commitment to report climate change as an urgent issue to be addressed. It has gain significant to plan for preventing the further damage caused to the planet earth. It is significantly important for educationist to include curriculum in schools, colleges etc., in order to create general awareness and what an individual can contribute towards addressing the issue of climate change through concerted actions.

  1. Rousell, D.; Cutter-Mackenzie-Knowles, A., A systematic review of climate change education: Giving children and young people a ‘voice’and a ‘hand’in redressing climate change. Child. Geogr. 2020, 18 (2), 191-208

  2. Imteaz, M. A.; Paudel, U.; Santos, C., Impacts of climate change on weather and spatial variabilities of potential water savings from rainwater tanks. J. Clean. Prod. 2021, 311, 127491

  3. Lee, J.; Taherzadeh, O.; Kanemoto, K., The scale and drivers of carbon footprints in households, cities and regions across India. Glob. Environ. Change 2021, 66, 102205

  4. Obersteiner, G.; Gollnow, S.; Eriksson, M., Carbon footprint reduction potential of waste management strategies in tourism. Environ. Dev. 2021, 100617

  5. Bhargava, S.; Bhargava, S., Ecological consequences of the acid rain. IOSR-JAC 2013, 5, 19-24

  6. Kumar, S., Acid rain-the major cause of pollution: its causes, effects. Int. J. Appl. Chem. 2017, 13 (1), 53-58

  7. Huang, P.; Liu, Y., Toward just energy transitions in authoritarian regimes: indirect participation and adaptive governance. J. Environ. Plan. Manag. 2021, 64 (1), 1-21

  8. Sathaye, J.; Shukla, P. R.; Ravindranath, N. H., Climate change, sustainable development and India: Global and national concerns. Curr. Sci. 2006, 90 (3), 314-325

  9. Dash, S. K.; Jenamani, R. K.; Kalsi, S. R.; Panda, S. K., Some evidence of climate change in twentieth-century India. Clim. Change 2007, 85 (3), 299-321

  10. Pandve, H. T., India's National Action Plan on Climate Change. Indian J. Occup. Environ. Med. 2009, 13 (1), 17-19

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