Regulations for Sustainable development on Mitigating Global Climate Change
The Climate changes and the effects that it causes is an aspect of the environmental science, which has long been studied in the field of environmental studies. There is evidence of a number of historical and scientific theories, which shows the evidence for this phenomenon. These theories profoundly show the link between the human advancement and the changes in the climate. Scientifically, it is known that Earth I not constant or static. It is constantly undergoing changes in terms of its environment. The change in the environment and subsequently the climate are expected and has been seen in ages.
Scientists’ beliefs regarding these changes are varying. Some believe that the environment has seen these changes through time in varying transformations. Other than the climatic changes caused by the moon rotation around the earth and the earth rotation around the sun, the cyclic climatic changes are the ones which are going to highlight in this paper. Various theories regarding the extent of the climatic changes and their effect on the inhabitants of the planet has been assessed through various methods by scientists. Studies have highlighted the cause and the effect of these climatic changes in order to better mitigate them (McClanahan & Cinner, 2011).
Effects of Climate Change:
In this century, the interest in this area has increased with the limelight being given to the various environmental issues. The depletion of the ozone layer and the global warming are the top concerns in this regard. The evident increase in the natural disasters has gained the attention and the governments are now sorting ways for recovering from its effects and getting prepared for the upcoming climatic challenges. Climate change is now a concern for every country on every continent. It is affecting the national economies and disrupting the lives of people by costing people, societies and countries dearly today and is expected to affect more in future. The significant impact of the climate is experienced by the people around the globe in the shape of changing weather patterns; more extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and increase in the number of natural disasters. The human activities causing the constant emission of greenhouse gasses are the main drivers of these climatic changes. They are at this moment at their highest levels in the history. Without any action, the temperature of the planet is expected to rise by 3 degree Celsius this century affecting mostly the poor and most vulnerable people (United Nations, 2015).
Mitigating the Affects of Climate Change:
The countries have now ways and solutions, which are easily available for countries to leapfrog towards mitigating the effects of climatic changes. This has given rise to the concept of having increased international cooperation, legislation, and sustainable development. Only by integrating the efforts of sustainable development into international and domestic laws climatic changes affect can be mitigated. Despite the recent setbacks in the international negotiations like that occurred in Copenhagen, the legislation for the sustainable development is imperative to more in more effective manner. For mitigating the effects of climatic change there is a need of paradigm shift towards low carbon development strategy, which is crucial to the sustainable development (Halvorssen, 2011).
The concept of the sustainable development was first adopted by the World commission on Environment and development. The world agrees that the sustainable development involves the integration of the approach towards economic, environmental and social processes. The social, political and the cultural factors are now only getting the required attention towards them. The literature on the sustainable development emphasizes increasingly on its two-way relationship with the climate change mitigation. The climatic changes are not only affected by the climate-specific strategies but by the use of the development choices mix and its trajectories as well. Therefore, by changing the development pathways, which are climatic change specific, can make a significant contribution in this regard (Sathaye, et al., 2007).
The 2015 Global Climate Legislation Study at a Glance
The study conducted by the Grantham Institute covers the climate-change mitigation laws and policies and its adaptation, which were passed prior to January 1, 2015. The study covers 33 developed and 66 developing countries. The study reveals that from the end of the year 1997, the number of the laws pertaining to the climatic changes has doubled over every five years. In 1997, there were only 54 laws related to the climatic changes mitigation, which has increased to 804 by the end of the year 2014 (Nachmany, et al., 2015).
- The study reveals the following key findings of the legislation on the sustainable development and mitigating of the climatic changes:
- About 58 countries have framework legislations for addressing the mitigation of the climatic change and its adaptation, whereas 17 countries do not have any framework legislation (Nachmany, et al., 2015).
- 45 countries (with the European Union as one block) have economy-wide targets for the reduction of the emissions up to the year 2020. Together these 45 countries account for the 75% of the global emissions (Nachmany, et al., 2015).
- In 51 countries, the adaptation plans have not gone into the implementation stage and have been limited to the reporting requirements of UNFCCC. Most of these countries are the ones, which are the most vulnerable countries to the climatic change (Nachmany, et al., 2015).
Progress in the Year 2014:
In the year 2014, 46 new policies and laws were issued by 34 of the 99 covered countries in this study. Of these, 17 are developed countries while the other 17 are developing countries. The 21 laws passed were of legislative nature (passed by the parliament), while the other 25 were of executive nature (enacted by the governments). However, not all the laws are equal in scope and importance. The eight most important laws, which were issued in the year of 2014, are:
- Climate Change Mitigation Act (Bulgaria):
- National Climate Change Adaptation Plan (Chile):
- Climate Change Act (Denmark)
- National Plan for Tackling Climate Change (China)
- Framework for Climate and Energy Policies (European Union)
- Action Programme on Climate Protection (Germany)
- Framework Law for Disaster Management (Mozambique)
- National Adaptation Strategy (Slovakia)
(Nachmany, et al., 2015)
Ultimately, the aim of the climate change legislation is to guide the governments on public policy. However, any legislation is fruitless without its implementation. The countries, which are making legislations only for fulfilling the requirement of reporting of UNFCCC, cannot be considered as being contributing to the climatic change mitigation process. Nearly 60 percent of the countries have framework or policies for addressing the adaptation of the mitigation. However, 17% have none (Nachmany, et al., 2015). Saudi Arabia and Canada are the only countries out of the top 20 emitters who do not have any framework policy for either mitigation or adaptation (Nachmany, et al., 2015).
Halvorssen, A. M. (2011). INTERNATIONAL LAW AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT- TOOLS FOR ADDRESSING CLIMATE CHANGE. Denver. J. Int’l L. & Pol’y , 397.
McClanahan, T. R., & Cinner, J. (2011). Adapting to a Changing Environment: Confronting the Consequences of Climate Change. Oxford University Press, USA.
Nachmany, M., Fankhauser, S., Davidová, J., Kingsmill, N., Landesman, T., Roppongi, H., et al. (2015). The 2015 Global Climate Legislation Study. Retrieved October 10, 2016, from Lse.ac.uk: http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/
Sathaye, J., Najam, A., Cocklin, C., Heller, T., Lecocq, F., Llanes-Regueiro, J., et al. (2007). Sustainable Development and Mitigation. Climate Change 2007: Mitigation of Climate Change , 691-743.
United Nations. (2015, February 24). Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. Retrieved October 10, 2016, from United Nations: http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/climate-change-2/