Worries Over Increasing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Political declarations and commitments that marked the December 2015 Conference of Parties, COP21 in Paris, France with virtually all countries across the globe taking the engagement to curb greenhouse gas emission are progressively different from the reality. A recent publication by the Earth System Science Data which is made up of a Consortium of Global Carbon Project (GCP) says after three years of stagnation, human emission of Carbon dioxide (CO2) has witnessed a dramatic increase this year.  The group that has been monitoring CO2 emissions yearly since 2006 has this year made a timely report, in line with the United Nations Framework Convention Conference of Parties on Climate Change, COP23 (UNFCCC) that took place in Bonn, Germany from 6-17 November, 2017.  Many must be wondering why the persistence of greenhouse gas emission despite the damages that CO2 has on climatic conditions and human survival. If the attitude of the current President of the United States of America, Donald Trump to withdraw from the Paris Agreement gives clues as to the economic and capitalist stakes involved in environmental protection issues, it appears difficult to know why the other countries are not keeping their promises as well.   An international gathering in Morocco, the last UN General Assembly meeting in New York and the just-ended COP23 in Bonn are also signs that something is wrong with the application of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. It is obviously the loophole that the Earth System Science Data has come to demonstrate. Their findings indicate that 41 billion tons of CO2 produced mainly by the burning of fossil fuel for electricity, industrial activities and land use and deforestation has resulted in a 2 per cent increase in greenhouse gases production as compared to last year. Countries driven by the desire for economic growth especially industrialisation have proven to be paying lip-service to issues of protecting the environment.   Gases such as Carbon dioxide, Methane, Nitrous oxide, Nitrous oxide, and Fluorinated have principally accounted for the degradation observed in the environment causing grave consequences to the climate. The production and transportation of oil, natural gases and coal; industrial agricultural farming as well as combustion of fossil fuels and waste are some of the factors that experts have identified to be at the origin of the visible danger to the climate and these are all linked to the Western economies.  Although the current push for a change in attitude towards climate change cannot be ignored or considered as a total failure, the trend this year that portrayed an increase in greenhouse gases should equally call for much concern. This is not just because the parties are not keeping their words, but most especially due to the danger that such failure could mean to human survival. No individuals and nations have the right to undermine issues about the existence of mankind. While economic progress is laudable, the need to balance such capitalist aspirations with the demand to protect life on the planet must be paramount.  Wealthy nations are therefore the first to carry the responsibility as far as protecting the environment is concerned since they are the first guilty of massive production of CO2 in the process of powering their industries.    

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