“U.N. Panel Issues Its Starkest Warning Yet on Global Warming”, The New York Times, November 2, 2014
Issues related to environmental and climatic changes are given the number one priority in the current world. The world is at an era that clearly understands the importance of environmental conservation after learning from experience the consequences of ignoring environmental conservation. The report highlighted in the article under discussion covers the sensitive steps required to mitigate the risks of climatic change. The article under discussion reflects upon the contents of a UN Panel Report in Copenhagen on global warming.
Climatic Risk Highlighted
According to the report, the burning of fossil fuels is still a major problem limiting the campaigns for environmentally friendly energy consumption. The Panel warns that most developing countries are following in the Western Countries in burning fossil fuels for most of their energy requirements. According to the Intergovernmental Panel, using massive amounts of fossil fuels is a threat to many societal aspects.
The failure to cut down on fossil fuel emissions directly induces shortages of food. As a result, refugee crises become inescapable. Populations flocking in major cities across the world could also happen as a result. Reduction in the animal population and extinction of some plants occurs as a result as well. The increase in the use of fossil fuels escalates global warming thus increasing the severity, irreversibility, and pervasiveness of the impacts upon the ecosystems as well as on the general population.
The risk or increased emission of greenhouse gasses due to the use of fossil fuel escalates as the energy companies remain reluctant to care about the effects. Apparently, the major energy companies are still searching for more petroleum and coal natural reserves for mining purposes. According to the panel, they are spending over 600 billion dollars in such efforts. Additionally, oil companies still build more petroleum refineries as well as coal-powered plants, meaning that the risk is higher than ever.
Mitigation of the Highlighted Risk
According to United Nations’ Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, the primary call is upon the governments across the globe to ensure that they initiate proper actions necessary to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses. According to Mr. Ki-Moon, it is necessary for the government leaders to implement the provisions internationally put in place for the purpose of significantly limiting global warming effects by year 2020.
According to the Mr. Ki-Moon, the provisions of the agreement arrived at the international delegates conference held in Lima should be used as a direction for mitigating the above risks. The governments should ensure that they set aside enough budgets for their emission reduction campaigns. According to the Intergovernmental Panel, in Copenhagen, governments across the world spend about 400 billion dollars in emission reduction campaigns. However, the above figure is subtle with respect to the fact that some companies like ExxonMobil have revenues exceeding that amount.
Additionally, the anti-emission campaigns by the government at the moment are merely useful. According to the panel, while the oil and coal mining companies use about 600 billion dollars in search of new mining sites, the governments spend almost a similar figure in terms of direct subsidies in favor of fossil fuel consumption. According to the provisions of the Lima conference as well as from Mr. Ki-Moon, the campaigns for the reduction of greenhouse gasses as a result of fossil fuel consumption could be easily successful if the government subsidies were removed. Otherwise, if the governments choose to do nothing with respect to the rising level of greenhouse effects, the severe climatic effects would only be avoided if the natural occurrence reduced the environments sensitivity to global warming – which is a far-fetched idea.
Gillis, J. (2014). U.N. Panel Issues Its Starkest Warning Yet on Global Warming. The New York Times.