The world countries have for the first time signed on a universal agreement to cut down greenhouse gases and to avoid dangerous effects of climate change signaling an end to fossil fuel era.
The legal agreement was signed by 200 countries on Saturday with aim of tackling the crisis and to hold governments to account for reaching their goals. The agreement has to an extent succeeded in saving the planet. Firstly, the world leaders have realized that climate change crisis needs to be countered immediately. Secondly, they have realized that life on earth would be impossible if environmental pollution isn’t cut down and therefore it was pointless to engage in arguments. The rich countries and corporate giants have been engaging in squabble for more than twenty years that led to wastage of more time eventually aggravating the crisis. The scientists first warned of the climate change crisis in 1988. Even though immense damage has already been done, all the nations are, at present, pondering over the issue and ways to tackle it. The third reason is the developed countries responsible for polluting the environment and contributing to global warming and climate change coming forward offering recompense for their mistakes. The nations have also pledged to turn to alternate energy sources as soon as possible. Despite all the positive hopes, skepticisms still remain as to whether the agreement would be effective in countering climate change. There wasn’t any anticipation of reaching a consensus of such level which led to huge relief. Just like George Monbiot said while assessing the gravity of the consequences of the Paris agreement, ‘it’s a miracle’, by comparison to what it could have been, and ‘a disaster’ by comparison to what it should have been. For instance the scientists warn of catastrophic effects if the global warming couldn’t be limited to 2 degree Celsius than that before the start of industrial revolution.
As per the agreement, the countries have agreed to cut down global warming below 2 degree Celsius and still further to 1.5 degree Celsius if possible. But according to the reports, the planet has already warmed up to 1.7 degrees. The rich countries have agreed to achieve their goals by 2020 and whether they would be able to achieve their target is yet to be seen. Most of the countries are unlikely to reach their goals of curbing carbon emissions including India which is about to carry out the extensive mining of coal fields. The agreement also doesn’t say anything about lifting subsidies for such fuels or levy taxes for them. Even though the countries have embarked on their own strategies to counter climate change, given the possibility of a rise of over 2.5 degree Celsius, lack of a clear comprehensive project to achieve the target is a huge setback. The agreement has also failed to mention the main sources of carbon pollution like military bases as well as marine and air traffic. The annual expenditure required to cut down the pollution and develop alternative energy sources by 2020 is one lakh crore dollars out of which 67, 000 crore has to reach the developing countries. Since the rich countries are mainly responsible for contributing towards the crisis, they should bear a major part of the expenditure. But they have only agreed to pay 10, 000 crore dollars. The developing countries that bear the brunt of the climate change are entitled to receive another 15, 000 crore dollars for their security processes. The rich nations which spend around 2 lakh crore dollars every year for their military forces give little priority to mother earth and the living things on it. The nations agreeing to switch from fossil fuels to permanent energy sources is a big relief. Different countries are to update about their status as to how far they have achieved their goals. Arrangements have been made to re-analyse those goals and to phase out fossil fuels as soon as possible. Different governments should be able to create awareness about the climate change crisis among the people and to pave way for a change in their lifestyles. But the ultimate solution lies not in the technical shifts but in political solutions that are capable of putting an end to injustice, conflicts and war. The planet would be able to survive only on peace and justice and not by exploitation and injustice.