obstruct the path to a liveable future?
It’s about time we realized that something that seemed “a little off the wall” has turned into a real calamity with more casualties than the environment and the lush green blankets. However, we can still make amends as a community and soften the blow, writes Dr JP Gupta
We’ve gotten used to sitting in our bedrooms while discussing whether it’s time to move on to a bigger apartment, a better job, or be confined to our bedrooms with our air conditioners at their maximum cooling temperature. Enjoying the rain while we are pulling out our laptops seems like an ordinary day in our routine life. However, what we don’t notice is that a bigger apartment costs deforestation, the air conditioner emits a carbon footprint, and unwanted monsoons – a sign showing the catastrophic consequences of our actions. Climate change has impacted nations around the world and reached an irremediable state over the days. With rising temperatures, melting glaciers and flooding causing destruction from sudden advances from shore or connected regions, concern only seems to be growing.
It’s time to realize that something that seemed “a bit offbeat” has turned into a real calamity with more casualties than just the environment and the lush green blankets. Most people do not recognize the worry, calling it a secondary problem when they close their eyes; however, the truth is far from it.
Climate change: a real threat?
Climate change has become evident every day and causes temperatures to fluctuate. With scorching heat and pollution playing a role in the deterioration of the air quality index and causing respiratory health problems, concerns are increasing. One of the main factors playing an obvious role in the whole problem is the increase in greenhouse gases contributing to the greenhouse effect which is becoming more and more intense. The effect causes heat from the sun to be trapped in Earth’s atmosphere and spikes temperatures to a whole new level.
The change is hitting India as well as others and has tragic consequences with flora and fauna, businesses, economy and more playing a role as collateral damage from human activities. Our country is blessed with many environmental covers and terrains, including glaciers, high mountains, long coastlines as well as massive semi-arid regions, making it a hotspot for climate change. There is no doubt that global warming is negatively affecting Indian ecology, as confirmed by numerous surveys. In fact, India has already been among the top 10 most affected countries in the 2021 Global Climate Risk Index, according to a report released by Germanwatch. The report further shows how vulnerable people in developing countries have suffered the most from extreme weather events such as storms, floods and heat waves, while the impacts of climate change are visible around the world. The threat of climate change is as real as it gets and is gradually shifting towards D-Day.
Factors contributing to climate change
We, as a society, have ignored the warning signs of global warming for three decades, which has further led to this adversity brewing on an exponential scale. Human interference has been one of the main factors contributing to the global challenge of limiting the effects of global warming and minimizing its impact. Other factors include:
- Fuel emissions from natural gas exploitation
- Overexploitation of resources that take hundreds and thousands of years to renew
- Excessive carbon footprint residue
- Agricultural practices using both commercial and organic fertilizers as well as increased animal husbandry and other
These, combined with an inexhaustible list of other factors, are leading to an era of disruption and worsening global warming. The factors are not only the result of human initiations and interruptions, but are furthermore intensely triggered to cause more havoc every day.
How does this impact the world?
Human intervention has had the effect of putting the entire ecosystem and the life forms that maintain it in a difficult situation. Our activities have caused temperatures to rise and the ocean and land and our atmosphere have been affected. The cryosphere, water bodies and environmental covers are being depleted due to the increase in human activities with the impact increasingly irreversible if not interrupted by a series of emerging actions. Climate change is giving rise to several problems such as ice caps turning into water, sea heat waves, heavy rainfall, flooding, tropical cyclones, permafrost and increasingly frequent ecological droughts.
Turning away from the consequences of our activities over the past millennia sets off a series of catastrophic events such as the intensification of the global water cycle and the severity of wet and dry events. The visible effects are becoming more and more evident and therefore require us to take significant steps to curb the problems.
The unpopular fact
One of the lesser-known aspects of climate change is that it affects us physiologically, ultimately affecting our psyche as a by-product and causing more damage than we as a community realize. The increase in global temperature reflects the fact that people’s bodies, as scientifically suggested, cannot withstand heat beyond wet bulb temperatures; a combined measure of heat and humidity – about 35 ° Celsius, or about 95 ° Fahrenheit. Researchers around the world have worked tirelessly for evidence that shows that when heat affects people’s bodies, their performance in various tasks, as well as general coping mechanisms, suffer.
This further accelerates negative traits, including aggression, decreased cognitive abilities, and dropped productivity. Data from the World Weather Station also shows how the limit of human survival has been briefly exceeded at least a dozen times over the past four decades at sites along the Persian Gulf and in particular in the Indus Valley in India. These facts give us all the more reason to act urgently and to implement reform immediately. The need of the hour is to serve as fervent environmentalists and not only to recognize the threat which hangs over our planet, but also to solve it immediately.
The importance of climate finance
Climate finance revolves around the fact that there is a need for strategic planning when working to minimize the impact of global warming. It helps nations reduce greenhouse gas emissions, for example by financing renewable energies such as wind, solar or hydrogen. In addition, it allows the inhabitants of the affected regions to adapt to the situation such as droughts while allowing them to earn and produce food through efficient methods etc. Climate finance is responsible for strengthening their communities and providing them with a bit of stability in the midst of chaos. .
Public and private finance in this area also plays a critical role as it helps countries establish a green economy while encouraging them to adopt viable systems based on renewable sources, while eliminating the exploitation of exhaustible sources. The fact that as a country we have a long way to go, only makes climate finance more important at the moment. India is striving to be on the list of developing green economies, but the road to it is through a green system powered by hydrogen. Using green hydrogen to reduce the carbon footprint and hosting summits such as the Climate Summit in India to educate people about the problem and discuss effective strategies and possible solutions, is the way to go.
India recommended adapting a hydrogen-based economy
There has been a clear increase in global energy consumption and hence the urgent need to harness alternative energy sources that are not only green, but also renewable and abundant. One such source with significantly higher energy efficiency per unit mass is hydrogen.
Hydrogen, used as a fuel in the production, transport and storage of energy. It has the potential to play a crucial cross-cutting role in the future low-carbon economy, with applications in the industrial, transport and energy sectors. There has been a growing awareness that the complete electrification of our current energy systems could be prohibitively expensive and technologically difficult, given the important attributes of storage, flexibility, chemicals and heating of fossil fuels. current. Based on this, experts predicted that the demand for hydrogen could quintuple by 2050, with industrial use being the main driver. In the field of electricity, hydrogen could be a cost effective way to provide inter-seasonal storage in a highly variable renewable electricity system from 2040. The increase in the use of hydrogen produced in the country can significantly reduce energy imports.
The development of hydrogen is in its infancy and there are many uncertainties regarding its safety. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the legal and regulatory requirements, investment cases, funding structures, operational requirements, revenue streams, sharing and other elements that need to be considered in formulating a acceptable and effective marketing model. A gradual transition with adequate safety policies and standards will help build trust among stakeholders and provide an enabling environment for a hydrogen-based economy. To accelerate the adoption of hydrogen technologies in India, a radical change in government policy and business actions is needed.
Developing a master plan and administering the implementation of strong strategies to eliminate the challenges of climate change becomes imperative for a developing country like ours. The focus should shift from “what is wrong” to “how to fix it with immediate effect”. As India plans to take a step towards a green hydrogen economy, setting up other initiatives as well as climate panels hosting summits and raising awareness will lead to a brighter future. Climate change may hinder our path to a liveable future, but we can still make amends as a community and soften the blow. All we need is the determination to make things better and the awareness that Richard Branson (entrepreneur, adventurer and environmentalist) argued: “There is no planet B We have to take care of the one we have.
The author is The Summit Chair; Chairman of the Environment Committee, PHDCCI; Managing Director, Geenstat Hydrogen India Pvt Ltd, Distinguished Scientist and Speaker at “International Climate Summit 2021”