French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain on Friday said that the world has entered an “era of consequences” and that it has become necessary for everyone to take action on global warming.
Lenain was speaking at an event organised by the French Embassy to mark the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement — the global framework for action in the fight against climate change.
The adoption of the Paris Agreement in December, 2015 at the COP 21 was the result of over 20 years of climate discussions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The key objective of the agreement is to limit global warming to 2°C or 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
On Friday, Lenain said, “We have entered the ‘era of consequences’ of global warming. The year 2021 will be very important in the fight against climate change. I am looking forward to better understanding what fighting for the environment means in the Indian context.”
Recently, the European Union (EU) has announced the raising of its climate ambition of reducing at least 55 per cent of its net emission by 2030 compared to 1990.
Speaking at Friday’s event, EU Ambassador to India Ugo Astuto said, “We have scientific evidence about what has been done so far is simply not enough. So, we need to act now if we want to avoid world temperature increase well beyond 1.5°C or even 2°C. It is indispensable, the international community needs to act and needs to gather, to come together for this objective. The EU has adopted very ambitious objective in this respect, we want to be the first climate neutral continent by 2050.”
Pointing out the limitations of techno solutions, Dr Arunabha Ghosh, the founder-CEO of CEEW, a policy research institution, highlighted the need of human agency in applying solutions: “At CEEW, three months ago, we launched a $3 million programme to help rural start-ups using clean energy, for income-generating activities. This is taking advanced technology and bringing it front and centre to the poorest of the poor,” Ghosh said.
Dr K Sivakumar of Wildlife Institute of India talked of preserving ecologically fragile areas without affecting the livelihoods of local communities and involving them in this effort. “We must work with the communities and ensure that the protected forest lands are not degraded further,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ridhima Pandey, a 13-year-old climate activist from Uttarakhand, said, “As part of the Youth Advisory Council at COP26, I would really want the world leaders not just thinking how they are going to grow their economies or meet their targets, but also considering how their actions in the long term will cost us. Being the youth from the (Global) South, it’s really important for us to get the centre-point as our lives matter a lot.”