Diaz: Government can play huge role in climate change campaign

Countries need to take action to achieve net zero targets

In Summary

•Plastic flowing into the oceans is expected to nearly triple in volume in the next 20 years

•Extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts, and floods are getting worse. 

The Earth’s climate is changing. Past emissions mean we are committed to several decades of rising global mean temperatures regardless of future mitigation efforts.

A growing body of scientific evidence has inspired governments and industries to respond to the threats posed by climate change.

Policymakers and investors have relied on climate science to initiate mitigation and adaptation projects.

My humble view is that climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the world today.

Strong international action is required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

However, past emissions mean that we are now committed to decades of temperature rise, and to over 100 years of sea-level rise.

Countries need to take action to achieve net zero targets and increase focused green climate strategy now and beyond 2030.

Projected rises in global mean temperatures would result in a faster rate of climate change this century than the Earth has experienced for at least 10,000 years.

The UK Climate Projections 2009 (UKCP09) suggest that the UK is likely to experience warmer and wetter winters, hotter and drier summers, and more frequent extreme weather events.

People and ecosystems have always responded to changes in climate.

For example, farmers have grown different crops, and species have migrated to more hospitable environments.

However, this has occurred in the context of slower rates of climate change than expected in future.

Extreme weather events such as heat waves, droughts, and floods are getting worse.

To address these consequences of climate change, governments to institute adaptation policies aimed at making cities, states, and even countries less vulnerable to these disasters.

Plastic flowing into the oceans is expected to nearly triple in volume in the next 20 years, adversely affecting our ecosystems, health and economies.

United Nations estimates that agricultural production will need to increase by about 50 per cent by 2050 to keep pace with the rising demand for food.

But food security needs to grow across the world as population growth is demanding more resources.

Meanwhile, food systems cause as much as a third of greenhouse gas emissions, up to 80 per cent of biodiversity loss and use around 70 per cent of freshwater reserves.

Time is running out. Nations must partner on strategic long-term climate actions, grow more forests, use fewer fossil fuels, both solar and electric solutions and cleaner greener comics and business is needed across the world.

Role of government in climate change

Economies can only grow sustainably if they simultaneously manage the growing urgency of environmental degradation and climate change.

Market forces alone won’t solve the problem and the onus is on governments to take the lead. Many have set targets — some enshrined in law — to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by specified dates - from as early as 2030.

Governments can choose from a wide range of policy interventions and financing measures to support the transformation of energy and industrial systems, improve energy efficiency, tackle environmental pollution, and protect and replenish natural capital.

Germany for instance committed 2.5 billion Euros for investment in EV infrastructure and a 9,000 Euros subsidy per vehicle to encourage adoption.

In Shenzen, China, the major bus operators were incentivized to transition to EV through an annual subsidy of 75,500 dollars for each vehicle.

And in Vietnam, installations of rooftop Solar PV capacity have increased by 2,435 per cent since the beginning of 2019, driven mainly by a feed-in-tariff scheme.

The Pakistani government, for example also, earmarked between 800 million dollars and 1 billion dollars over the next four years for an afforestation program to capture carbon while also creating job opportunities for thousands of low-skilled workers.

Kenya under the leadership of President William Ruto is championing the implementation of the Jaza Miti program, to grow billions of trees in the next few years which will see forest cover grow to about 30 per cent.

G7 countries have allocated more than $189 billion for recovery funds to support fossil fuel industries, and some business lobby groups are even urging a rollback of environmental protections to stimulate economic recovery.

Government can also help improve knowledge. Information about climate change and information about technical adaptation measures are typical public goods: the cost of generating the information has to be incurred once, whereas the information can be used at no additional cost.

Without government intervention, too little information would be generated.

In playing a critical role in combating this climate change menace, the government has to provide the regulatory framework for insurance markets.

The economic consequences of natural disasters can be cushioned through insurance markets.

Fostering growth helps cope with the consequences of climate change and facilitates adaptation. Poor societies and population groups with low levels of education have the highest exposure to climate change, whereas richer societies have the means to cope with the implications of climate change.

The future climate investments by governments in partnership with the private sector to achieve our net zero targets beyond 2030 remain most important for future generations to benefit and have a cleaner, green, and safer environment.

Chris Diaz Conservationist and Business leader

Twitter: @DiazchrisAfrica

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