For the environment, an emergency
Sir: For many years, nature has been man’s greatest ally, his best friend, his nurturer and in fact, his benefactor.
However, as betrayal is in man’s nature, at the hands of man, nature has increasingly been at the receiving end of activities that were nature not so resilient, it would have died many years ago, and with it, all dreams man has ever nursed.
As a result of the activities of man, nature has for many years now died a million times and may now be poised for one final, fatal plunge that may take with it everything man has laboured at for millions of years. Out of nature, every other thing has come.
Climate emergency refers to serious and urgent problems that are being caused or likely to be caused by changes in the world’s weather, in particular the world getting warmer as a result of human activity increasing the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Not enough is being done to tackle the climate emergency.
And as with many other things that threaten the world, it is the world’s most vulnerable people that are most affected. It is they that are most in need. It is they that are most endangered.
This emergency is the reflection of climate change and its vast and devastating consequences, including rising sea levels, surging global temperatures, increased wildfires and droughts, as well as mass forced human displacement.
Evidence shows that human activity and the use of petrol, diesel, gas, and coal is highly likely to be the main cause of global warming. When these fuels are burned they release greenhouse gases which trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere, causing the air and seas to heat up which changes the climate.
Countries that have issued climate emergency declarations include New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, Bangladesh and Argentina. The United States is the largest emitter of carbon dioxide followed by China, the Russian Federation, Germany and the United Kingdom.
For the environment, the effects of climate change are incalculable. For some of the world’s poorest countries and peoples, they are unbearable. People all over the world are facing the reality of climate change which is manifesting in an increased volatility of extreme weather events.
Between 2000 and 2019, over 475,000 people lost their lives worldwide and losses of US$2.56 trillion were incurred as a direct result of more than 11,000 extreme weather events. Countries most affected in 2019 were Mozambique, Zimbabwe and the Bahamas. They were followed by Japan, Malawi and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
It is obvious that climate change is disproportionately affecting the world’s poorest people. To create a world that is equal, this has to be fixed.
• Kene Obiezu, firstname.lastname@example.org