The world’s top scientific authority on climate change has given its report on our planet’s health. And it’s scary: the world is facing its worst time in the past 6,50,000 years. Greenhouse gas emissions are melting glaciers faster, raising the sea levels and making summers hotter and winters colder.
“These scenes are as frightening as a science fiction movie… But they are even more terrifying, because they are real,” said UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, releasing the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Valencia, Spain, on Saturday.
<b1>He urged governments to jointly fight global warming before it is too late. He singled out China and the US, the biggest carbon emitters as key role players in the global effort. He urged them to play a more ‘constructive’ role in reducing emissions at the global negotiations starting in Bali from next month.
IPCC chairperson R.K. Pachauri told HT from Valencia: “Now that the report is out, it is for the governments to act.” He said “truly global efforts” were needed in the fight.
By 2050, fresh water availability, particularly in large river basins, is likely to decrease.
Coastal areas will be at a greater risk due to increased flooding from the sea and rivers.
Endemic morbidity and mortality due to diarrhoeal diseases primarily associated with floods and droughts likely to rise.
India is the 6th largest carbon emitter and is projected to be the third largest by 2015. The government has prepared a draft strategy paper on climate change for the Bali conference, but doesn’t want a mandatory target to reduce emissions.
The IPCC report said there is “agreement” that there is economic potential to reduce emission levels but it will require huge investments for cleaner technologies. For this, governments require clear climate-change policies having regulations and new tax structures. Mitigation measures can, however, impact GDPs of developed nations and emerging economies like India, the report added.