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New targets for climate action, new misses for 2021. Would we ever learn?

Climate change, a topic which every single one of us knows about, but only a few care. Every day, situation is getting much more critical, and climate change is on the rise. Delayed monsoon, the late beginning of the winter weather so high temperatures during the summer season and much more, each one of it is due to recklessness of the people leading to rising climate change.

Ever since the countries across world has been running in the race of development to be the number one out there, there is very little attention paid to the consequences of their actions and their effect of it on our environment. Every single year, all the countries make a plan to protect the environment by reducing their dangerous methods and switching to sustainable methods, but we all know how few of them actually sticks to those plans.

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The rising negligence of the countries towards the environment plays a major role in the rising climate change. In this article, we will know about how all the countries hold climate meetings regularly and commit to collective action towards the protection of the environment, making a lot of targets, but only a few of them are successful in acquiring  those targets. Moreover, this article will also discuss about how these targets are not binding and that the developing countries will be needing great funding to meet those targets.


The annual meetings for Climate change


The annual meetings held to address problem of changing climate has always helped in galvanising the world into taking actions together against climate change, but even after that, the climate change has been in its worst phase in the last two decades. Almost all the time, the action plan taken in these meetings to control the climate change is much less than what is actually needs to be as stated by science to avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change.

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The data shows that a lot of countries have failed to perform and have therefore missed their targets, did not keep up with their promises and have delayed their actions. A reason behind this regular failure of the plans of many countries is that the decision making in these meetings is not always guided purely by the climate change considerations.

In most of these meetings, the economic, as well as foreign policy imperatives have overtaken concerns environmental changes, and therefore very less attention is paid to the rising climate change.


As a result of all this, the world seems to be trapped under the everlasting fighting mode in order to cope up with the all-time high changes in the weather conditions, which is a direct consequence of the rising climate change. A lot of changes have taken place in the past, the direct consequence of which we face every single day now. Ever since countries started to make development progress, they quite ignored the environment and the after-effects of their action, which is solely responsible for the rising climate change in the current times.


For most of the first two decades, when climate change became a global concern and countries across the globe started to talk about it, which is the period between 1990 and 2010, very little attention was paid to curb the rising global emissions by the rising number of industries in the world. The very first target made by the countries globally to return to their level of emission in the 1990s by the end of 2000 was not taken seriously, and this is where the problem started to begin. If the required concern was given to the rising global emissions during that time, the current scenario would’ve been very different.


In the year of 1997, when the third climate change conference was held, an international agreement was made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it was not operated since the year 2005, eight years from when the agreement was made. Why? It failed to become operational because of the absence of the required number of ratifications. At that time, the United States was the largest emitter of these greenhouse gases and did not ratify the Kyoto protocol and Therefore was not bound by it. It is nothing but the ignorance of people and countries that has messed up the condition of the environment.


Talking about the Kyoto protocol, it asked 37 different rich and industrialised countries to collectively cut down their emission level of greenhouse gases by 5% in the first commitment period of 2008 to 2012. However, things did not go according to the plan as except for the European Union and some other individual countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom, all other countries failed to cut off their emission levels.

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It is safe to say that not much effort was made by those countries to reduce the emission levels, and they were more concerned about the industrial development of country.


However, on the good side, Russia and the East European economies witnessed a drastic fall in their global emission level of greenhouse gases after the collapse of the Soviet era. This helped them in achieving the target of reducing collective global emissions. Moreover, these countries witnessed a collective fall of 22 per cent in greenhouse gas emissions, which is much higher than target of a 5 per cent reduction.


Talking about other bug countries, the emission level of greenhouse gases of United States in the year 2012 was much higher than the level of emission by them in the year 1990. This directly means that no progress was made by them in reducing the gas emission. Similarly, the emission level of greenhouse gases by Australia rose up by 15 per cent in the year 2012 from what the level was in 1990, and therefore they failed to reduce the level of emission of greenhouse gases too.


Not just these big countries, China and India, have major blame for this current condition of our climate. Between 1990 and 2012, the collective global emission rate of these greenhouse gases rose up by as huge as 40 per cent, all thanks to the rapid development of both India and China.

China overtook the United States to be the world’s biggest emitter of these greenhouse gases in the year 2007 and is still on the top. The actual position is so bad that the current emission level of China is four times the level of emission by them in the year 1990. Similar is situation with India, whose emission level rose by 3.5 times the level of 1990.

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The main problem is money since it takes a lot of funds to start new and sustainable methods and avoid the emission of greenhouse gases. While the developed countries have claimed that they have enough funds and have started sustainable development, and have been giving the much needed care to the environment, the developing countries are still failing accumalate for these funds.

These countries owned that the money to provide for this is very low, even, what is being presented as climate finance is either pre-existing aid or money flowing for other purposes. However, it should be kept in our minds that the position of climate is degrading every single day, and all the countries will have to take a step to prevent the further degrading of climate.

edited and proofread by : nikita sharma 

Simerleen Kaur

Talk to me about economics, trade, and all things India.

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