Activists from multiple countries are set to join a string of global marches from September 15 to September 17. They will be demanding the governments to rapidly end their reliance on fossil fuels, as the escalating effects of rising carbon emissions are felt around the globe through devastating floods, fires and storms.
Recently, the whole of Europe was in news for the wildfires. Now countries like Libya, Spain, China, and more are battling heavy rains and flooding. These climate catastrophes are a result of climate change that has been triggered by mindless human actions and decisions that do not align with the environment.
Almost every climate forum stresses on reducing carbon emission and lowering the planet’s temperature, that is impacting every form of living being. According to an IMF analysis, in spite of the global pledges to limit earth’s warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius as enshrined in the 2015 Paris Agreement, governments provided a record-breaking $7 trillion in subsidies to oil, gas and coal last year.
On September 20, 2023, the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres will convene global leaders at the UN in a Climate Ambition Summit to gather momentum ahead of COP28 which will be held later this year in Dubai.
Guterres has repeatedly called for the end to fossil fuels, and referred to new investments in oil, gas and coal as “moral and economic madness,” while also calling on the industry to redirect part of their windfall profits to pay for the escalating damages of climate change.
Burning fossils cause global heating
When fossil fuels are burned, they release large amounts of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into the air. Greenhouse gases trap heat in our atmosphere, causing global warming. This has been a major cause of rising temperature of Earth, as industries around the world have been engaging in such activities for so long, that it has now become mandatory to undo the act to deal with the consequences.
Further, industries have been greenwashing to hide and continue to operate on fossil fuels.
Scientists have been urging to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy, however, fossil fuel companies remain huge polluters, producing and selling fossil fuel products.
Fossil fuels i.e coal, oil and gas – are by far the largest contributor to global climate change, according to the United Nations. They account for over 75 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions.
These have led to hotter temperature, severe storms, increased drought, warming and rising ocean, loss of species, food insecurity, poverty and displacement and exposure to health risks. The only viable solution to this is switching to efficient energy sources.
Climate Ambition Summit
The world needs immediate and deep reductions in emissions now, and over the course of the next three decades, to limit global warming to 1.5°C degrees above pre-industrial levels and prevent the worst impacts.
The Climate Ambition Summit scheduled to be held on September 20, 2023 will focus on accelerating action by governments, business, finance, local authorities and civil society, and hear from “first movers and doers.” It will discuss the ambitions, credibility of stakeholders and implementations that will be instrumental in addressing the climate issues.