Sunday, November 29, 2015

Trial by Fire – COP21. Elsie Gabriel Know the basics of COP21. You will not have to tell your children that you didn’t know!

Trial by Fire –COP21.

Elsie Gabriel

Know the basics of COP21. You will not have to tell your children that you didn’t know! Nearly 150 global leaders are gathering in Paris amid tight security for a critical UN climate meeting tomorrow November 30th 2015.

The conference, COP21starts on Monday and will try to outline a long-term deal to limit carbon emissions.The summit will try to agree to a new international deal to solve climate change by lowering greenhouse gas emissions. The talks are formally known as COP21.

World leaders are gathering to call for an ambitious deal that will avoid a dangerous rise in global average temperatures. The UN wants to agree a truly universal global deal on tackling climate change to prevent global warming exceeding 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels this century.

90% of world nations have issued long-term plans for tackling climate change, many global governments have already committed to curbing human activities such as burning fossil fuels that release the gases that interfere with the climate. Just penning it down country wise will not help, it is said, the leaders must agree to assist one another to take the matter forward, after outlines have been agreed upon. This will be the biggest bone of contention.


The trial comes when you have 195 countries to agree on how to deal with the issue of climate change. Every year since 1992 the Conference of the Parties has taken place with negotiators trying to put together a practical plan of action.  The nations pushed solar, renewable, green living habits, sustainable buildings, retaining forests, clean water, carbon footprints involving transport, water, food and even clothings, nearly everything to curb rising temperatures. Although in a parallel fashion we kept becoming more industrialized in order to take hundreds of millions out of poverty. But the carbon dioxide created out of the so called ‘development’ efforts increased  "greenhouse effect", trapping heat on the surface of the planet.

When the earth warms about 2°C above pre-industrial times, scientists say there will be dangerous and unpredictable impacts on our climate system. And we're already close to that danger point.

So the purpose of COP21 at Paris is to work out a path of limiting emissions of greenhouse gases, while allowing countries to continue to grow their economies, and providing assistance to the least developed and those most affected by rising temperatures.So, eventually it has been accepted that poorer countries face the brunt.

Money ,finances and budgets also have a big role in the deciding factor. Who is going to shell out for the transition to renewable energy for countries that can't afford it? Who is going to help underprivileged countries adapt to rising sea levels and more intense droughts and heat waves?

An ambitious deal in Paris would put the world on the pathway to lessening the impacts of climate change, it is hoped. Hope there will not be a hazy compromise as negotiations could get difficult. Keep the faith, while world leaders talk it out, you do your bit and help save your contribution to increasing temperatures.

Of course “sustainability” will not be a fashionable statement anymore, it will be action alone that will save us in the future. This is a call out for each one to thoughtfuly adopt a greener lifestyle for planet earth.Cool it down!

As far as India is concerned, we surely have our POA in place and are not really responsible for half of the worlds pollution but  we require greater degree of financial support and efficient storage technology! Hope India comes back with that action in place, lets wait and see the climate negotiations begin tomorrow. [Log on as the proceedings follow.]

Elsie Gabriel is an award winning author and environmentalist. She is a writer for the Times of India and also the founder of the Young Environmentalists Programme trust.The Cyclothon 2015 to be held in December 13th 7am at Hiranandani Gardens Powai Mumbai is aimed to sensitize citizens about a less polluted world and alternative transport measures. The event will see veteran cyclists who are truly environmentalists in their own way.   She has initiated cycling to school and donate your cycles among the youth which has started out as quite a successful campaign. She can be contacted at 9967347511/

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