Climate change is one of the most critical global challenges of our times. Recent events have emphatically demonstrated our growing vulnerability to climate change. Climate change impacts will range from affecting agriculture – further endangering food security – to sea-level rise and the accelerated erosion of coastal zones, increasing intensity of natural disasters, species extinction, and the spread of vector-borne diseases. This issue is of immense importance for every global citizen. That is why it requires an initiative against it globally. Fortunately, a few of the global initiatives to prevent climate change are started by various sectors.
New commitments and initiatives in energy, water and agriculture sectors have been announced at the United Nations Climate Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany, under the auspices of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action to help implement the Paris Agreement.
In Bonn, new initiatives were announced to push forward the transition to renewable energy and to show that more ambitious clean energy development can quickly become a bigger part of national climate plans submitted under the Paris Agreement, according to a UN release.
Global initiatives are influenced by domestic factors such as national interests and discourses which detract from the collaborative global approach needed to effectively tackle climate change. These factors influence whether political parties are likely to undertake policies in line with global initiatives to tackle climate change – for example, pursuing government regulation on business or introducing tax interventions – and whether economic needs are met for domestic producers in maintaining competitiveness. Demonstrating leadership in clean energy poses a challenge even for industrialized countries, where the fear of losing competitiveness to developing countries limits action.
Developing countries often argue about the need for economic growth through increased industrial activity; commitments to lower carbon emissions would jeopardize the level of industrial activity that could be undertaken and therefore the extent to which the economy can grow. As much as this is valid – particularly as developed countries have achieved economic growth through industrial activity while bearing little of the climate-changing consequences – it is also short-sighted. Pursuing clean energy and sustainable development can allow individuals the processes and opportunities to realize their capabilities and therefore influencing both their own welfare and that of their economies.
Carbon markets are not an independently sustainable solution, but they could form part of a realistic initiative to reduce carbon emissions and meet the needs of developing countries. When implemented with strict regulation that gradually transforms energy systems, carbon markets tackle climate change at its roots. More research needs to be done to identify viable market mechanisms that can impose carbon reduction targets while appeasing those in power, maintaining political stability and promoting sustainable development.
Apart from these initiatives, the prominent personalities and organizations working in the field of climate change are also recognized at international level by the most prestigious organizations and institutes. The Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 was awarded to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the former United States Vice President Al Gore for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change. Another prestigious recognition, the Oscar Award for the Best documentary feature film was given to “An Inconvenient Truth”, a documentary film about global warming, presented by the former United States Vice President Al Gore and directed by Davis Guggenheim. Definitely, such kind of recognition will inspire many workers, especially the youth, to contribute in the initiative to prevent climate change.
To conclude, it is now clear that initiatives to prevent climate change are started, but most importantly these initiatives must be continuous, sustainable, and every individual of all countries will need to contribute to prevent climate change.