Decoding one of the least-talked about subtopics of climate change!

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Starting from where I left off in my last blog – we’re talking about climate change again!

But, this time, we’re shedding the spotlight on a subtopic of climate change that is perhaps not known or understood fully by the masses.

Climate finance.

No, I haven’t meshed two completely different words together. It is a thing and you can look it up!

On second thoughts, don’t because as soon as you read the next paragraph, you will understand what it is.

‘Climate finance’ refers to the investments that support significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and financial measures that help adapt to the current and future impacts of a changing climate.

So it is right to assume that if the world wishes to become climate-neutral by 2050, then enormous amounts of investments (both from the public and private sectors) are required.

Climate finance is important to systemically combat climate change. After all, there needs to be a proper system in place for whole continents like Europe to invest substantially in climate change mitigation and adaptation.

And, as you can imagine, climate financing is never going to be about hundreds or thousands of Euros. The investment needs will be totalling hundreds of billions of Euros per year.

There’s another important term that you should be introduced to, at this point.

Sustainable climate finance. It aims to channel private investment into the transition to a climate-neutral, climate-resilient, resource-efficient and fair economy.

Private investments, when combined with public money from Europe and other continents may make a huge impact on the climate.

Next, we move to the topic of the European Economic Area ( EEA ) which includes EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

It is continually assessing the connections between climate action, including current and future measures to reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change, and the financial and fiscal systems.

This organization has been contributing extensively to the initiative of sustainable climate finance for five years and counting.

It has also helped develop recommendations for identifying economic activities that can make a substantial contribution to climate change mitigation or adaptation. The recommendations also address how to ensure that climate investments avoid significant harm to other environmental objectives such as sustainable use and protection of water and marine resources, transition to a circular economy, pollution prevention control, and protection and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystems.

My parting thoughts on the EEA are that it is also a part of the EU Platform on sustainable finance, set up as a permanent expert group under the EU Taxonomy Regulation.

Signing off by saying that climate finance needs more attention, both as a topic and act, to shape a carbon-neutral and eco-friendly future.  

Who is a ‘climate activist’? Come, meet some of my favourites.

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A climate activist campaigns and supports positive change in regards to the global climate crisis. He/she also leads wholesome discussions, spreads awareness and motivates others to take appropriate action.

At present, many young people are contributing to this social cause. What they are doing is simply noble because in reality, it’s not the young people who are the cause of climate change but many of them are still doing everything in their power to improve the current situation.

‘Climate change’ as a term on its own is scary and troubling. Its meaning invites more fear into the hearts of those who understand the dire consequences.

RECAP: ‘Climate change’ occurs when greenhouse gasses such as carbon dioxide and methane are emitted from the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, etc.). As a result, the gasses become trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere and heat it, thus disrupting the weather patterns in all kinds of ways.

The situation has worsened since the Industrial Revolution and to add insult to injury, it’s a man-made disaster.

Therefore, it’s imperative to read about and become inspired by youth climate activists who have risen as the voice of reason at such tender ages.

1. Tahsin Uddin

A 22-year old climate activist from Bangladesh who fully understands the unfair impacts of climate change on vulnerable groups of people in his country.

He promotes cycling as an eco-friendly vehicle, plants trees and organizes clean-ups.

2. Russell Raymond

A 17-year old reporter from the Caribbean nation of Dominica whose motivation to combat climate change rises from a personal experience.

When Hurricane Maria made landfall in September 2017, he was devastated to see the state of the island he once called home.

Hence, he used photography as a medium to capture grief and highlight the fatal effects of the crisis.

3. Mitzi Jonelle Tan

Mitzi belongs to Manila, Philippines and ardently campaigns for ‘climate justice’ – a term that I came across a short while ago.

Her fight against climate change can also be attributed to a personally-lived experience. Which happens to be the two back-to-back hurricanes that hit the Philippines in 2020.

During this difficult time, she and her organization made it a mission to feed the hungry, ask them in-depth questions about how the storm had impacted them and help them in every way possible.

4. Greta Thunberg

Perhaps, I saved the most infamous climate campaigner for the last.

She is the 15-year old girl who protested outside the Swedish parliament in 2018.

While holding a sign that said “School Strike for Climate”, she demanded that the government meet its carbon emissions targets.

Her small act led to big changes around the world. Students from the UK to Japan emulated her driven actions.

She was also nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for climate activism.

Her most heroic act which inspires me is when she sailed the Atlantic in a solar-powered yacht to attend a UN conference in New York.

At the end of the day, we cannot measure a youth climate activist by the number of achievements but by the sentiment with which they promote climate awareness and justice.

So, if you were looking for a sign to build a cleaner and greener world, this blog is it. 

We’ve already been impacted by climate change and it’s just the beginning.

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Climate change is a real, palpable problem – a man-made phenomenon whose effects we all are experiencing but doing little to curb.

In this blog, I would like to attempt to pin down some of the impacts which the climate crisis has already had on planet Earth so that my observations can generate a level of awareness and a certain sense of accountability in my readers.

Before we start, I’d like to assert that the more apt. the term is ‘global climate change’ since the alterations in our surroundings are not only being felt in India but also in the rest of the world.

I digress but it’s important to note here that the effects of climate change are unevenly felt around the world. The effects can differ between communities as well as individuals.

While the heat-trapping process has resulted in a rise of about 1.98°Foffsite link (1.1°C) from 1901 to 2020, it has also led to sea levels rising, droughts, floods, etc.

In theory, the consequences of climate change may seem one-dimensional but upon a closer look, they are far more disturbing once decoded.

For instance, a drought will disrupt human life even more in the sense that food production and human health will be impacted.

Floods will result in the spread of diseases and damages to ecosystems and infrastructure.

Such instances will interfere significantly with worker productivity as well.

This is why it’s important to examine the impacts of the global climate crisis before it’s too late.

1. No improvement despite lockdowns

The two most debilitating greenhouse gasses (carbon dioxide and methane) continued to wreak havoc on the atmosphere in 2020 despite the worldwide socio-economic lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The above statement reflects how deeply the climate crisis has percolated into the planet and how necessary it has become to understand what we can do to avoid its further escalation.

2. Water resources take the brunt

Did you know that a snowpack (a mass of lying snow that is compressed and hardened by its own weight) is an important source of fresh water for many people?

So, as the snow from a snowpack melts, it becomes freshwater which is a valuable resource for the masses. Especially those residing in the Western United States where precipitation is unpredictable in warmer months.

But when temperatures rise, the amount of snow reduces overall meaning snowpacks may not be very reliable sources of water during warm and dry seasons.

3. Human health is compromised

It’s common knowledge that these heat-trapping gasses lead to hotter weather and heat is a deadly phenomenon for the human body.

The dry season can also fuel wildfires. Events such as lightning and strong winds have been recorded as contributing factors to the California wildfires.

Long-standing equity exists here wherein underserved and vulnerable groups will be impacted the most by climate change.

People struck by poverty, the elderly and individuals with preexisting health conditions may be the first in line to experience the aftermath of this crisis.

Therefore, we should act like a self-aware community as it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the looming global climate crisis.