Climate change: the five good news about the fight against global warming | International scientists and experts draw a panorama for COP26

On November 1, the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). The global warming It is one of the great problems of humanity because of its devastating effects. However, there are some positive steps that are being taken in the fight to mitigate its consequences.

In this sense, the experts and scientists who closely follow the issue spoke with different international media about the things that remain to be done but also about the great advances that have been made in recent years in the fight against climate change.

1. The work of local communities to protect nature

Vandana Singh, professor and former president of the Department of Physics and Earth Sciences at Framingham State University in the United States, specified that the “positive” view on the context of climate change is part of society’s struggle.

“The way I want to use that word is from the perspective of people who are already fighting, who have already been hit by the apocalypse, whether we are talking about the indigenous, the poor of the global south, the people of color or of many women who have been disproportionately affected by climate change, “he explained in dialogue with the BBC.

For his part, anthropologist David Bray, professor in the Department of Land and Environment at Florida International University, studied Mexican community forests and considers them to be “the best model of sustainable local management in the world.”

“My research over more than 30 years has shown that when indigenous and local communities control their forests for commercial timber production, both humans and the land benefit,” he wrote in an article in The Conversation.

For the expert, the system allows the forest and its biodiversity to be conserved, but also “mitigates climate change, because while these communities harvest the forests they also harvest carbon and it is stored in construction products and furniture, where it will be stored for decades” .

To its turn Pérez-Cirera stressed that the recognition of the “great” role that indigenous peoples have played in protecting nature is “very good news.”

2. The issue climbed on the agenda of governments and companies

“The weather has never been higher on the political agenda. If we think about the Paris Agreement – signed in April 2016 and which established measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – (the issue) is now even higher, “said Pérez-Cirera.

He added: “Having the Chinese prime minister and the president of the United States talking about climate as one of their three political priorities at the national level is something we have not seen before.”

This diagnosis reveals that The climate is no longer limited to the agendas of environmental organizations or of some countries, but is becoming a topic of global economic interest. According to the specialist, many companies have already reacted and are realizing that stronger government regulations will come, added to the fact that “there are increasingly important demands from consumers.”

In September, the UN announced that more than half of the sectors that make up the world economy had pledged to cut their emissions by half in the next decade.

“In each of these sectors, at least 20 percent of the top companies by revenue are aligning around specific sector targets for 2030, in line with achieving net zero emissions by 2050, and including targets such as a 60 percent of renewable generation in the energy sector and 5 percent of fuel with zero emissions in the maritime transport sector “, highlighted Pérez-Cirera.

According to Raúl Salazar, regional chief for the Americas and the Caribbean of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, “there is an important commitment at the government and community levels to advance in reducing the risk of disasters and threats of climatic origin “.

He continued: “There is a very clear awareness that if clear measures are not taken to address climate change in the next 10 years, extreme weather events are going to be overwhelming, especially for developing countries.”

3. The amount of information helps prevent disasters

The study of climate change also led to new research tools and analysis models. “We have more data and the more information we have over time, the better we can understand what is happening as well as the direction and magnitude of the change.”, considered Erika Podest, a scientist in the Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems Group in the Earth Sciences Division of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, Salazar stressed, Systematic collection of information on damage and loss caused by disasters has enabled better decisions to be made for the future: “In some cases they have been concrete measures to prepare for emergencies.”

Although, he clarified, there are important gaps between countries with regard to data collection: “If you ask me if we are improving, I think so. Regional trends show that there has been a reduction in mortality due to threats of climatic origin (hurricanes, floods, landslides) and geological origin (earthquakes, tsunamis) “.

The analysis of data on events, both large and small, allowed estimating that nine out of 10 disasters that have occurred in the region in the last 40 years have been of climatic origin. “This clearly indicates to us that they can be prevented and predicted with better systems, for example, meteorological monitoring, early warning,” he said.

And he summarized: “Knowing the data also allows them to develop probabilistic models” that help governments to quantify the possibility of loss in the future and, therefore, put a number to the measures or budget allocations for disaster prevention. “

4. Alternative energy sources are increasingly accessible

Pérez-Cirera stated that one of the strong arguments against wind and solar energy in the past was the costs involved in these technologies, but that “considering market costs, solar, for example, is very competitive. It has reached impressive floor prices, which, with the right policy frameworks, makes it a perfectly viable alternative. “

Another argument that was used is that there is not always sun and there is not always wind, adding that “some politicians who had relations with the oil industry said that renewable energies were not reliable. However, storage systems are already available. energy”.

Podest also gave his point of view and mentioned other variants such as geothermal and tidal, and the advancement of electric cars: “And if they are developed responsibly, they can help reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. “.

5. There is still time and everyone can contribute

The specialists shared that, as the situation worsens, extreme events will be seen more often: heat waves, cold waves, more intense hurricanes. For Podest, “the planet is warming and we are already seeing the impacts of climate change”, but “There is time to change or at least stop and begin to reverse the damage we have caused to the environment.”

“Many people can feel: ‘For what? I better enjoy all the comforts of my life because there is nothing that can be done’. But we can all do something,” he emphasized.

In his view, the most important actions at the individual level have to do with minimizing the consumption of fossil fuels, the use of conventional cars, resources such as electricity or water, which translates into “being more aware of our impact on the environment “.

In the case of Latin America, Pérez-Cirera estimated that there are great possibilities to choose highly nutritious foods that leave a small carbon footprint, and that “if we want to have a prosperous and more equitable future, we have to turn to see nature.”

“Science tells us that the time window is closing, but it also tells us that it is possible and what shows us the level of concern of society is also a beacon of hope,” he warned, emphasizing that “it grows individual and collective awareness of climate change “.

And he synthesized: “It is very important that we do not fall into a feeling of hopelessness, but one of empowerment. To think that as consumers we have power, as voters we have power, that as individuals we can do something and that something is not marginal, but powerful. “

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Helen Hernandez is our best writer. Helen writes about social news and celebrity gossip. She loves watching movies since childhood. Email: Phone : +1 281-333-2229

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