By Cristian Frers *
More than twenty years ago, scientists warned about the increase in global average temperature and its impact on the complex meteorological system: they referred to the gradual increase in the temperatures of the atmosphere and oceans that are detected today, in addition to the continuous increase that is projected into the future.
Nobody doubts the increase in global temperature, which still generates discussion about the source and reason for this climatic increase. Even so, most scientists say that more than 90% is due to concentrations of greenhouse gases caused by human activities, including deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal.
In Argentina, the levels are relatively high. The emissions come from energy, agriculture and livestock. If the nation decides to change, there must be a political definition at the highest level to know what the country's productive profile will be in the next thirty years. To reduce emissions, energy generation in infrastructure, transport, agriculture and waste must be modified. Two serious points must be marked, which occur and will intensify throughout the century: more intense rainfall with the consequence of floods, damage due to high temperatures and even deaths in urban environments. As an example the heat waves of the summer 2013-14 in Buenos Aires and other cities, which will become more frequent.
At the Paris COP 21 Summit on climate change, the primary objective was clear: to keep global warming below 2º - compared to pre-industrial levels - and to adapt societies towards this objective. It was not possible and the temperature is expected to be around 2.7º or 3º, with the proposals presented by all the countries that attended. Starting in 2020, the agreement will be ratified and reviewed every 5 years and the countries will have to improve their emission reduction commitments.
Other relevant conclusions that can be deduced from the summit are:
• The end of the era of oil and fossil fuels is near, and it will undoubtedly be the goal set to achieve the reduction of 2º. There were proposals like India's solar initiative, Africa's Renewable Energy initiative, and more than a thousand mayors and leaders supported 100% renewable energy.
• An economic fund of about 100,000 million dollars will be destined for developing countries.
• These countries must assume most of the responsibility and assume a climate justice with the countries where their natural resources were expropriated.
• Neutralize the climate by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through afforestation, soil management, and carbon storage, among other measures.
Our generation faces a unique opportunity. If we do not change course and simply let time pass, living beings will disappear. We were aware of the dangerous demographic explosion of our species, the loss of biodiversity, global warming, the pollution of the seas, the air and the land, and the thinning of the ozone layer. We had enough information to understand that the problems we had caused required drastic solutions and we failed by not acting responsibly enough to save the Earth.
* Senior Technician in Environmental Management and Senior Technician in Social Communication (Journalist)