It is a given fact that in the 21st century, the human aspiration for dignified and sustainable living has to happen in a warmer world.
Download the Presentation using the link:
21st Century Economic Development and Climate Strategies: The Maritime Role
The state of the climate system will determine the economic outcome.
However, it is not just one-way relation!
The economic development model that each country adopts will also determine the state of the climate system.
The crucial role of the state of the climate system is becoming clear from various observations and scientific understanding derived from them.
IPCC’s special report on Global Warming of 1.5 Degree C attribute s~1 degree rise in temperature due to human-induced climate change resulting in many adverse impacts on multiple aspects of human life and nature e.g., soil, water forest, and so on.
Severe climate impacts are projected for urban areas, some rural regions in sub-Saharan Africa and South, South-east Asia. In this altered system every bit of change in warming matters.
Adaptation to higher and higher temperatures is impossible both for the human and non-human ecosystem.
It is becoming extremely important the kind of economic development model each country adopts. That will determine the state of the climate system.
It is no longer a question of small incremental contributions/experiments at our own will that matters. Rather, collective, measurable changes at every scale is the call of the day.
Every choice matters. Every choice we make in our various roles as individuals, citizens, corporates, investors, policymakers, professionals are to be questioned and evaluated.
Every year matters: the question is can 2020 be the decisive turning point when global emissions start declining sharply, to make the 2050 goal of net-zero GHG emission world a possibility?
All this needs to happen simultaneously with multiple other unfinished economic development agendas in the context of Sustainable Development.
Emission reduction by shutting down all economic activities is also not a desirable solution. Fast-growing developing countries of the 21st century are in a deep dilemma. Keep growing? Or stop growing?
How to grow differently?
Frequently asked question is climate first or development first?
The answer is both are inextricably related and need to happen together.
Pandemic has yet again proved the need to design a triple bottom line development: Survive, Revive and Thrive.
We need economy, society, and environment to reinforce each other for a sustainable living
Pandemic taught us disastrous impacts are experienced when action is delayed on any of these domains — the actions which environmental economists and ecological economists have been writing and suggesting for a very long time.
The adverse impact of agricultural practices on soil quality and water table levels are misrepresentations of the environmental concerns —they result from a lack of investment in natural capital i.e., the management of the environmental resources.
Human sufferings are related to the unfinished agenda of sustainable development. The suggestion is each nation and world in aggregate need to formally account for and report all human actions ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in evaluating humanity’s ‘true’ progress.
Every corporate keeps inventory of their physical capital stock and sets aside a sum of money for their upkeep and replacement at the end of their lifetime. Likewise, businesses and educational institutions need to devote their capital to building and up-keeping human capital. Above all, resources need to be allocated in reducing the digital divide.
We need to invest in ecosystem-based/nature-based solutions.
All our studies in the ocean sector and urban system confirm that adaptation activities not only create jobs but also contribute positively to wider sustainable development benefits.
Preventive measures which help in avoiding emissions are indeed more productive.
Our recent analysis report, (The Ocean as a Solution to Climate Change: Five Opportunities for Action)
from 2019, shows in the ocean sector, nature-based interventions (especially protection and restoration of mangroves, seagrass, and salt marsh) and onshore wind energy positively impacts the largest number of sustainable development dimensions.
Take home message is all these need to start now, in this decisive decade.
The world has seen fast mobilization of financial resources for recovery package during pandemic which totals today at ~12 trillion. Yet, ~10% of this money is needed to be invested for making the development process aligned with Paris aligned goal.
Strong national institutions, engagement of business and industry, community involvement, and international cooperation to ensure planned implementation of climate action can put humanity’s progress on a sustainable developmental path.
We call forth change architects to build new climate economy-driven sustainable developmental rules in the post-pandemic recovery period.