We need the right climate action


June 1st, 2017

It seems likely that in the next few days President Trump will withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement.

I’m not a climate scientist, but the vast majority of the scientific community is of one mind, that climate change is undeniable.  From own experience of working in Africa and Asia for over thirty years, and talking with many people who live there, the climate is changing.  Extreme events such as droughts, and floods always affect the poorest the most, which is why it matters so much to me and to everyone at Practical Action.

If the USA does withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the world still urgently needs to act to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The United States is the world’s second largest greenhouse gas polluter. But it cannot on its own destroy an agreement already ratified by 146 other nations.  It could encourage other sceptical nations to do likewise, increasing the burden on the rest of the world.

It’s time for other nations, to step up and provide the leadership and ambition necessary to achieve the crucial 1.5°c target.  Already Chinese and European Union leaders have signed a joint statement.  Once the UK elections are complete, and since we are to leave the EU, I expect the UK Government to step up and provide similar leadership.

It is widely recognised that limiting climate change is necessary to ensure the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The global action plan to eradicate poverty and improve the wellbeing of billions of people worldwide. These 17 Goals are interdependent, and a failure to achieve Goal 13 on climate action, could undermine the ability of countries worldwide to achieve the other 16 Goals. Civil Society, businesses, and governments should all stand up for agreements and actions which create a better world for all.

Practical Action supports the commitments made by Parties at COP21 in Paris in 2015, and reaffirmed at COP22 in Marrakech last year.  A key element of this Agreement is the recognition of the need for developed countries to support the most climate-vulnerable developing countries financially.  This will enable developing countries to develop low-emission development plans, so that energy is generated from renewable sources, and agriculture practices move to low input approaches.  These are the kind of simple, sustainable approaches that Practical Action has demonstrated for years, and still do today.24603 flooding bangladesh

Developing countries also need to be able to cope with changes to the weather patterns and adapt to the volatile conditions created by climate change.   As extreme weather events such as Cyclone Mora continue to ravage countries like Bangladesh, Practical Action and other like-minded organisations are putting into action plans to help people survive and rebuild their lives for example developing early warning systems to give advance notice of floods, and using simple design changes to protect houses from future flooding.

Whatever the US does, we all still have to cope with changing weather patterns today, and importantly work together to protect future of our planet.

 

One response to “We need the right climate action”

  1. E.J.Malone Says:

    I do not share this view and to claim that it is shared by the vast majority of the scientific community is a calumny. The only voices that are heard are those who depend for their profits from carbon futures or their research grants on their support for the “project”. Climate may be changing, as it always has through the centuries. Our impact on it is negligible and any efforts of ours to affect it as pointless as trying to bale out the Mediterranean Sea with a teaspoon. I am disappointed that Practical Action is so impractical as to be wasting its money, my money, in so pointless a way.

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