ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Youth, Climate Change Navigating a Warming Future

One antidote to climate doomism is highlighting the importance of collective action and a non-zero sum perspective in combating climate change.

The year 2022 was an eventful year for the human-induced trajectory of climate change. For one, it was tied to the fourth warmest year on record, with record-breaking heat waves and wildfires breaking out across the globe. It was also the year in which the parties to CoP27 (Conference of the Parties) agreed to a historic decision to operationalise a loss and damage fund, which is particularly helpful for nations most vulnerable to climate change. Nevertheless, we continue to emit at greater scales (the world is likely to overshoot the 1.5°C limit), while the technologies that were supposed to mitigate the impact or decarbonise our economies (nuclear fusion, carbon capture, low-cost battery, etc) are still in nascent or experimental stages.

Similarly, the “developing” world is faced with the dilemma of finding a balance between growth and the rising risk of climate change. The region is projected to account for an increasing share of emissions while facing the gravest threat of climate change since most of the low carbon energy options remain unutilised due to high initial costs. Nevertheless, the most worrying factor of a warming world is climate tipping points which could cause irreversible changes to climate systems, and the fact that we could be triggering some tipping points already. One would be tempted here to compare human decision-making regarding risks with Dornbusch’s law in economics which states that crises take longer to arrive than one can imagine, but when they do come, it happens faster than one can possibly imagine. History shows that avoidable crises often happen, and when they do, the best solutions to mitigate the same come at a much later stage. The 2008 global financial crisis and the initial surge of the COVID-19 pandemic are instances where preventive measures could have been taken earlier, but effective solutions were not implemented until much later.

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Updated On : 12th Jun, 2023
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