Call for steps to fight climate change

The Hindu , Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Correspondent : Staff Correspondent
Seminar discusses threat of global warming

KOCHI: If you think global warming, turned on mainly by energy abuse, is a faraway, mystic phenomenon that should be the bother of rich nations, think again. It could be here and it could be now.

India could be among the worst victims of global warming. Already, the melting of Himalayan glaciers has impacted the country. Why, even Kochi, which lies close to the Equator, could face a catastrophe. Just imagine what happens to Kochi if Arabian Sea's level goes up by a metre? The sea might gobble up huge chunks of this seaside city.

Threat highlighted

The immediacy of the threat of global warming fuelled by carbon emissions and the need for Indian cities to devise an agenda to fight it were highlighted at an interactive seminar on climate security held here on Tuesday.

The seminar was the first of a series of climate conversations chalked out by the Kolkata-based Centre for Social Markets. Nick Mabey, founder-director of the London-based NGO Third Generation Environmentalism (E3G), in his theme presentation, said lack of a political will and not of technology or money was the key impediment in fighting global warming.

He noted that just 30 countries caused 85 per cent of the global carbon emissions. The United States, the worst carbon-emission offender on earth, fobbed off global attempts to get it sign the Kyoto Protocol aimed at reducing emissions.

He said climate change had usually been reckoned as an environmental or economic issue. But, in order to trigger a radical action it should be seen as a core security issue.

Malini Mehra, founder-director of CSM, who was a fortnight ago named one of the 23 `Asia-21 Young Leaders' by the Asia Society, said it was high time Indians woke up to the threat of climate change. Reducing carbon emissions should be priority issue of national policymaking, she said.

SOURCE : The Hindu, Wednesday, March 07, 2007

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