Sustainable development and climate change

15 Jun 2021

Curtain Hug

-Tania Bhambhani

Warming global temperatures has affected the environment and human society in disastrous ways. Ocean acidification and warming, rising sea levels, melting of glaciers, rise in hunger due to droughts are a few examples of climate change impacts. Climate change unwinds all the progress towards sustainability. Sustainable development hints at economic advancement without overusing natural resources.
So, how is climate change linked to sustainable development? The answer to that question lies in the fact that climate change influences natural resources like food and water. It also affects human living conditions like poverty, human health, etc. Moreover, climate change occurs due to Greenhouse gases, and sustainable development focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Henceforth, climate change and sustainable development are irrevocably interconnected.

The impact of climate change on humans and development is disastrous. Floods, windstorms, forest fires, and other climate change hazards lead to damage to buildings and other infrastructures. Along with that, food, water, and other necessary commodities are also affected. Poverty, hunger, violence will also increase. Developing countries, coastal areas, and countries will be the most vulnerable as they depend on natural resources for survival. The poor will become poorer, also worsening economic inequality.
The Rio Earth Summit, held in 1992, addressed the increasing issues arising due to climate change and stabilising concentrations of Greenhouse gases. In December 2015, Paris, finalisation of the Paris agreement took place. It aims to keep the global temperature of this century below 2 degrees Celsius and curb the temperature climb to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. For the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development, response to climate change marked as SDG 13(Sustainable Development Goal). SDG 13 focuses on combining climate change measures into national policies, advancing education, increasing awareness, and institutional ability on climate change reduction, change, impact mitigation, and advanced notices. It also encourages active climate change planning and management in the least developed countries. The concern relating to rising greenhouse gases and their impact on climate change has lead all countries to participate in an effective response to climate change.