When newly-minted US president Joe Biden officially signed an executive order to rejoin the Paris Climate Accord, known as the Paris Agreement, as a certified environmentalist I was elated.
As a major financial contributor, the US decision to rejoin the Agreement is significant. All citizens need to be enlightened on what the agreement means to us and why, as a developing country, Trinidad and Tobago should be seriously concerned about climate change and its impact.
Firstly, under the Agreement, countries like ours are expected to intensify our commitment to reduce and curb greenhouse gas emissions. There must be a radical move towards renewable energy and away from our carbon-intensive energy sources.
When the Dr Keith Rowley-led government initiated a progressive approach by giving citizens CFL bulbs, it was met with ridicule; because in my country we make everything political, without analysing and looking at the positives.
Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind technology, along with an aggressive and efficient approach to recycling, must be the way forward if we want sustainable development to ensure our future generation enjoys the natural resources, without depleting and destroying the environment.
Further, as a member of the United Nations and signatory to the Agreement, we joined with the rest of the world in the aim of limiting global warming to below two degrees.
With a global pandemic raging coupled with extreme weather due to climate change, the world is on a path to catastrophic disaster and, I dare say, an apocalyptical future.
I’m not naive to the current upsurge in Covid-19 cases and deaths in T&T. In fact one of my contributions in April 2020 appealed to citizens that: ‘we must be less critical and adhere to the medical experts advice to stay at home, to stop the spread through self-quarantine and isolation’.
Clearly we didn’t heed the guidance and recommendations. It is the same with our behaviour and anthropologically obdurate attitude towards climate change and all the empirical signs which point that there must be reduction of our carbon footprint.
With the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations, changes in precipitation patterns, data supporting a rise in both land and ocean temperatures, and the melting of glaciers: why are we being so dismissive?
Climate change is as real as Covid-19 and if we don’t allow the experts and let the science guide us, we run the risk of decimation on scale we can’t imagine.
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