June 2008

Climate Supplement

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Climate Supplement

Recognising the impending need to address climate justice issues and other environmental issues of concern, i4d team has launched Green IT, an exclusive section on climate change. This initiative  also comes as a response to our sensitive readership who urged us to facilitate and pursue detailed deliberations, debates and discussions on climate change. The name Green IT suggests our wholesome endeavours to achieve a green earth with the help of information tools and services. The colour green in the logo indicates our explicit wish towards creating a green earth. The colour orange designates stability and coherence in weather patterns and the small circle on the left hand side of  Green IT shows our resolution and promise to fight climate change.

In our June i4d issue, Green IT will appear as a four-pager climate supplement. In the subsequent issues, i4d has plans to increase the space and convert the section into a magazine that deals with rudimentary climate justice issues and mitigation and adaptation strategies. We seek valuable guidance from our esteemed readers, partners and stakeholders in our concerted efforts to build a solid platform-cum-community to fight for the noble cause and develop Green IT as a dedicated print magazine.

Fighting climate change: The UNDP way

There is no denying the fact that the rising levels of greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of environmental pollution are creating potential risks like ozone depletion, melting of ice-sheets, sea level rise, coral reef destruction etc. across the planet. Initiatives like low-emission technology usage, carbon trading and Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), to reverse the changing climate situations, have proved futile and the time is ripe not only to look into the climate justice issues but also to look into the mitigation and adaptation strategies. In order to address these emerging issues of concern, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched its latest global Report, 'Fighting Climate Change: Human Solidarity in a Divided World', on 27th November 2007. The report is a take-forward of the joint initiative of UNDP and UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) undertaken in a climate convention in Nairobi, Kenya in November 2006. Since 2006, UNDP and UNEP have been consistently trying to create and regularise a platform that provides assistance to the clime-vulnerable people and fosters capacity-building. The effort of UNEP and UNDP was further invigorated by the continuous requests from leaders in developing countries, particularly from sub-Saharan Africa, who converged on reaping the benefits of CDM in areas such as the development of cleaner and renewable energies, climate proofing and fuel-switching schemes. This initiative of UNEP and UNDP in bringing out this report is also a step further towards the realisation of the MDGs. According to the report, climate change throws open certain debates and challenges to all types of people and institutions who cause and who are effected by climate change. The report states that developed as well as developing countries will be affected by the impact of global warming in future. The report states that the world has financial resources as well as technological capabilities to fight against climate change and if the world fails to prevent climate change, then it means that it is not just a failure of political imagination and leadership, but a moral failure on a scale unparalleled in history. The issue of climate change throws open challenges to political leaders and people of developed countries to own their responsibility in facing the hazards caused by change. Climate change also poses challenges before the entire human community to undertake prompt and strong collective action based on shared values and a shared vision.

The report focuses more on mitigation than on adaptation strategies. This is because, if mitigation doesn't start now, the cost of adaptation twenty or thirty years from now will become prohibitive for the poorest countries. The report includes four chapters. The first chapter, 'The 21st Century Climate Challenge' describes the future scenario of the climate, the impact of climate change and the measurement of carbon footprints across the world. The second chapter, 'Climate shocks: risk and vulnerability in an unequal world' looks at the problems and risks due to climate change, while the third chapter, 'Avoiding dangerous climate change: strategies for mitigation' focuses on the role of market and government in fixing the price of carbon, role regulations and government action in avoiding the affects of climate change and key role of international cooperation. The last and fourth chapter, 'Adapting to the inevitable: national action and international cooperation' focuses on the international cooperation while adapting to climate change hazards. The report tends to facilitate discussion and dialogues among climate scientists, environmentalists and economists so that a tangible decision on renewable energy and climate security is reached at.

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