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“COP22 – a climate of being remarkable?”
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“COP22 – a climate of being remarkable?”

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abhilash-borahThe recent G20 Summit sent an encouraging message on climate change, writes Abhilash Borah, 22, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Assam, India, who writes that observers will be watching for the COP22 in Marakesh to take another step toward responsibility and justice on climate issues.

With China and United States of America being the top emitters of greenhouse gases, ratifying the Paris Climate Agreement recently at the G20 summit sent out loud and clear signal that it is the responsibility of the leading nations to take the helm and be a sign of hope towards making a world of cleaner climate.

In the light of climate policy, the crucial question that flashes is where the course of climate change policies and treaties are set to go. Will the steps which we take today bear successful results in the decades to come?

It has been reported by the U.S National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Institute for Space Studies that in 136 years,  August 2016 was the warmest – about 0.16 degree warmer than the previous records.

Breaking scientific reports in climate changes have been playing a significant role in formulating international climate policies and treaties for global climate action in a quest to take action against global warming, mitigating climate change and work towards sustainable development.

The previous year, the month of December 2015, turned out to be a defining and historic moment for the global community and for future generations when the leading parties and UN member states reached an unanimous conclusion to save the world from destruction by keeping global warming levels less than 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Thus the Paris Climate Agreement at the Conference of the Parties (COP21), in Paris, France, which had been agreed upon by the negotiators within the United Nations Framework on Climate Change, finally reached the stages of ratification and further implementation by the signatory nations.

We are only a few days away from the highly anticipated 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP22), the Marrakech Climate Change Conference, to be held from November 7th -18th in Marrakech, Morocco. It is indeed a time to reflect on what humanity has achieved and where it makes its headway at the turn of the next century, and whether the efforts to reach sustainable development be a reality.

The 21st century is at the crossroads of a tremendous roller-coaster journey. The powers of science and technology, right from the beginning of the 18th century until now,  along with the advancements and pace of achievements of science and technology, has shaped the world but at a great cost. If due care and steps to slow down the pace are not taken, an inevitable crash of human civilisation cannot be any longer avoided.

Globalisation has its own merits. What it failed to acknowledge was to look into the heavier cost paid, and perhaps which is non-reproducible,  in nature. The environment has been affected during decades of rapid industrialisation by exploiting, polluting and harming the natural resources.

Times never remain the same, and lately efforts to revitalise the commitment to a sustainable future with positive vibes have been observed where the West and the developing countries all stepped up to tackle the most important issues of growth, development, and saving the environment. Being pessimistic is not an option in the defining hour of crisis, but with positivism, optimism and lessons from history, we can hope for better days to come.

A significant international understanding came more than 25 years ago in 1987. The Montreal Protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer was signed, implemented, and has been observed as a successful environmental treaty. The ozone layer, which at the time was discovered to be developing a big hole due to ozone-depleting chemicals, now is showing signs of healing. According to latest research the hole has shrunk to a satisfactory extent.

Through the 1987 Montreal Protocol, with hopes, optimism and determined efforts, the international order successfully tackled the promises which they made and the results are with us. What happened in COP21 Paris, and what we are about to see in Morocco at COP22 soon, have the potential to be landmark events that change the world in the upcoming decades and could play a pivotal play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

And for us, as climate trackers, as we look forward for the COP22, we cannot be more happy than to anticipate achieving the much sought after best-possible answer to one of the most important and intriguing questions of all time – climate justice ?

Photo credit: Climate Interactive Climate Pathways at the US Center via photopin (license)

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About Me: I am an Associate Fellow to The Royal Commonwealth Society, United Kingdom and India’s Global Youth Ambassador to United Nation’s A World At School global education initiative. International relations, education advocacy, science and society, journalism, and geosciences are my passion and interests where my heart lies.

I am an ambitious young leader who aspires to one day lead India to the forefront of negotiations for nuclear disarmament in my quest to build a just, better, brighter and amazing world.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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