Climate crisis: Invest in a holistic approach

Updated on May 11, 2022 08:37 PM IST

The rising mercury put stress on the coal-fired energy systems, indicating how much climate action and energy transition needs are intertwined

This summer, a trailer of climate-sparked extreme events is already being played out in India. (AFP) PREMIUM
This summer, a trailer of climate-sparked extreme events is already being played out in India. (AFP)
ByHT Editorial

At a time when the global temperature deadline is advancing, an emergency response must work hand in hand with mitigation efforts

The annual mean global surface temperature between 2022 and 2026 is likely to be between 1.1 and 1.7 degree Celsius higher than pre-industrial times, and there is a high chance (93%) that one of these years will be the warmest on record, dislodging 2016 from that dubious distinction, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said this week. Without mincing words, WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas reminded the world that temperatures will continue to rise as long as “we continue to emit greenhouse gases”. If the rising temperature prediction comes true, the world could miss the more ambitious goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. Such a breach will have dire consequences worldwide; it could mean an increasing frequency of severe heatwaves, cyclones, and extreme rainfall for India.

This summer, a trailer of climate-sparked extreme events is already being played out in India. While heatwaves are common in India, especially in May and June, summer began early this year with high temperatures from March itself -- average maximum temperatures in the month were the highest in 122 years. Heatwaves also began setting in during the month, and continued into April.

The rising mercury put stress on the coal-fired energy systems, indicating how much climate action and energy transition needs are intertwined. The current scenario and future predictions show that India must continue to work on a multi-sector, multi-pronged approach to tackle the climate crisis: From investing much more in renewable energy and improving the health of the power generation infrastructure to the proper implementation of heat-related health advisories and widespread messaging, no sector can be left behind to face the vagaries of nature since there are strong interlinkages between many of them. At a time when the global temperature deadline is advancing, an emergency response must work hand in hand with mitigation efforts.

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