Climate Change; Mitigation And Adaptation

Managed retreat is the controlled flooding of low-lying coastal areas. Photo credit: Carbon Brief.

Nothing is permanent in nature. Those who are born are destined to be dead. Things that are formed are sure to get deformed and destroyed. The communities disappear with the passage of time. Ecological succession alters species composition, structure, or architecture of vegetation through time. All these are signs of change. On a similar pattern, climate change happens.

What is climate change?

Climate change is a shift in global temperature and weather patterns in the long run. Although, it is a natural process but anthropogenic activities are making it faster than ever before.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the opening ceremony of the world leaders summit at COP26 rightly uttered these words: “Our addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink. We face a stark choice: Either we stop it — or it stops us. It’s time to say: enough.”

So far the mitigation and adaptation are concerned, these include decarbonization of the economy, investment in green energy projects, and managed retreat and early warning systems respectively. Among the impacts of climate change, severe effects on the economy, health, habitat, and environment are notable ones. In the same manner, there are implications of climate change as well.

About Climate itself

The climate of an area includes seasonal temperature and rainfall averages, and wind patterns. Different places have different climates. The climate of an area is measured over a long period of time. The climate of an area includes seasonal temperature and rainfall averages, and wind patterns.

As far as steps for the mitigation of climate change are concerned, they’re many in number. The very first can be the decarbonization of the economy.

Decarbonization of Economy

Decarbonization of the economy is possible by promoting carbon-free infrastructure, by changing the diet patterns, by switching to renewables, and by switching to energy-efficient devices and vehicles.

Morocco is one of only two countries with a plan to reduce its CO2 emissions to a level consistent with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Morocco’s National Energy Strategy calls for generating 52 percent of its electricity production from renewables by 2030.

Use of Renewables

Use of alternative energy resources is also helpful in mitigating the climate change. The renewable energy resources include solar and wind power. Expanding the use of renewable energy can make electricity cheaper, achieve greater energy security, reduce carbon emissions, and help save the billions.

Pakistan has tremendous potential to generate solar and wind power. According to the World Bank, utilizing just 0.071 percent of the country’s area for solar photovoltaic power generation would meet Pakistan’s current electricity demand.

Pakistan is bestowed with several well-known wind corridors and average wind speeds of 7.87 m/s in 10 percent of its windiest areas. However, despi

Green Energy Incentives

The most common mechanisms for administering green energy incentives have been the kind of rebate New Zealand has announced. The country’s Clean Car Discount scheme is a remarkable one. It will make it cheaper for New Zealanders to buy electric and low-emission cars. Apart from electric car incentives, the scheme will also introduce additional fees on the price of vehicles that produce high levels of carbon dioxide emissions. It is expected to prevent up to 9.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

Carbon Taxation

One of the largest financial tools to combat climate change is a carbon tax. A carbon tax is imposed by a government to put a direct price on greenhouse gas emissions (per tonne) produced by companies or industries. It works an economic incentive for polluters to lower emissions or switch to more efficient processes or cleaner fuels. There are almost 27 countries with a carbon tax implemented.

Emission Testing

Emission testing system is another mitigation step to get away with the early onset of climate change. Emission testing, smog testing or emission inspections are actually the protocol that repeatably allows the comparable measurement of exhaust emissions for different vehicles. Emission tests are aimed at ensuring the safe levels of toxic gases produced by vehicles.

Emission Trading System

Besides, emission trading system also enable the communities to keep a check on the harmful emissions. The European Union has one of the best examples of a cap-and-trade system, called the EU Emissions Trading System. Importers of emissions-intensive goods are required to pay a charge based on what producers would have had to pay under EU carbon emission regulations. As of September 2021, the price of carbon per tonne in the EU programme is at 62.45 Euros, and continues to rise.

Carbon Floor Price

A carbon floor price would mean that companies, including energy generators and heavy industries, would have to pay for the carbon they produce. At present, many countries and regions have their own carbon pricing systems, but there is no globally agreed carbon price. The IMF urged the G20 countries, made up of the world’s most developed and developing economies, to adopt a carbon floor price for their industries, as the quickest way of reaching net zero emissions.

A price of about $75 per tonne of carbon dioxide would be needed by 2030 to meet the goal of staying within 1.5C to 2C of global heating, set under the Paris agreement in 2015, the IMF noted.

Shift towards clean energy

Nuclear, geothermal, biomass, solar, wind, and hydroelectric are some of the clean energy sources. Pakistan aspires that it would shift to 60 per cent clean energy and 30pc electric vehicle use by 2030.

Photo credit: World Meteorological Organization.

Early Warning System

Early warning systems protect the most vulnerable populations against climate emergencies like cyclones and floods. Bangladesh is one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. Natural hazards, i.e. cyclones, storm surges and floods extract heavy tolls on human lives and animals. Tremendous property damages, and the total disruption of development activities of the country occur almost every year.

With about 120 million people living within 144000 km2 of land, Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The Government of Bangladesh has given emphasis and priority to developing of the weather forecasting system using satellite imageries and computer methods. So, now cyclone warning signal can be given and disseminated to the community/vulnerable people as early as possible, by radio, television and information media at frequent interval during the event of a cyclone strike.

The country has already established and set up a Disaster Management Bureau to coordinate disaster management through national to local level to pursue the objectives of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction, IDNDR (1990–2000) to develop disaster awareness.

One cyclone event was already successfully predicted in May 1997, which had a similar intensity to the May 1985 cyclone. Early warning system reduces the damage and help taking precautions in time.

Managed Retreat
Managed retreat is the controlled flooding of low-lying coastal areas. If an area is at high risk of erosion, managed retreat could be an option. It usually occurs where the land is of low value.

Managed retreat involves the coordinated movement of people and buildings away from risks. This may involve the movement of a person, infrastructure, or community in response to a variety of hazards such as flood, wildfire, or drought.

Abbotts Hall Farm salt marshes is an example of managed retreat. A salt marsh can provide habitats for wildlife and a natural defence against erosion and flooding.

Conclusion

To conclude, there’s no way out to completely shift the dependence of world energy resources from the non-renewable to renewable ones. However, a gradual transformation of these resources towards the clean energy is an option to save the planet from decimation. We all must keep in mind that there’s no planet B to go even if it is Mars. Save the planet, save humanity.

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