Chowdhury Nabila Tasnim, Rassiq Aziz Kabir
One of the most debilitating issues facing the world today is climate change, which is slowly transforming into a full-fledged climate crisis. The IPCC report of 2018 voiced their concern that in order to avert this crisis, global warming has to be limited within 1.5°C, contrary to the previously set safety-limit of 2°C. Instead of making gradual changes one step at a time, forestalling this calamity will only be possible if ambitious goals are made, making changes at an unprecedented level. Keeping that in mind, lawmakers and politicians embarked upon creating a new framework that addresses this issue at hand, which is being called the Green New Deal.
“Half a degree matters”
For a long time, a rise of 2°C in global warming was considered to be the safe zone beyond which global governments targeted to stay. However, in the 2018 report on global warming by IPCC, climatologists have expressed that in fact, the safe zone is half a degree below the previously assumed limit. According to the report, the world is already facing the repercussions of a 1°C global rise in temperature, in the form of rising sea levels and melting of Arctic ice, along with several other changes.
“Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5°C or higher increases the risk associated with long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems,” said Hans-Otto Pörtner, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.
In order to limit global warming to 1.5°C, “rapid and far-reaching” reforms in all sectors are required. The report further suggests that global CO2 emissions will have to be reduced by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030, and reaching ‘net zero’ by 2050. Undertaking these groundbreaking changes will require cooperation among all global governments. The Green New Deal can be called a stepping stone towards these reforms.
What is the Green New Deal?
Green New Deal is a proposed scenario which wants to address climate change and economic inequality substantially. It traces its name back to the new deal undertaken by US President Franklin D Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression adding a few modern concepts of renewable energy and resource efficiency. Its main aim is to shift a country's main energy source from non renewable to renewable. The concept of green new deal was further popularized by the United Nations’ Environment Program which aims to create more and more jobs in the Green Industry and at the same time curbing climate change.
How feasible is it?
the Green New Deal has been endorsed by many as a feasible solution to deal with climate change as well as to ensure economic growth. As the green new deal takes a staunch stance in changing the infrastructure and replacing the non renewable energy sources with renewable ones, it is described as a very ambitious undertaking. Also the green new deal includes social welfare issues like ensuring jobs to people, free universal healthcare, and access to housing and so on. But many experts have expressed their concern over this as they don't believe this to be implemented in real life as it will incur high costs and also the price that would be paid in replacing the coal, gas and other non-renewable energy sources which is going to be very high. Also, the time set to replace the energy sources is very low according to many experts. Therefore, the experts are divided between themselves about the green new deal.
However, the policymakers are quite ambiguous about the things that are to be included in a feasible green new deal. Many want to implement a specific set of doctrines within the green new deal and many want another set of doctrines as the green new deal includes a myriad of concepts. The think tank New Consensus which is responsible for carrying out the green new deal has published almost nothing about the outlines that it may follow. So,it has become quite difficult as a whole to get a comprehensive idea about the deal. The green new deal is universal but at the same time it varies a bit with the nature and political environment of the countries, for example countries which have traditionally been conservatives are quite different in their approach about the green new deal compared to the countries which are traditionally liberal..Although there are a lot of drawbacks to it, experts consider green new deal to be a pragmatic choice for the world in the face of this rampant climate change.
The Green New Deal, despite all its limitations has been an eye-opener on the idea that we are already running late on curbing the harmful effects of climate change. Banning straws and swapping out handkerchiefs for paper napkins would only do so much to slow down the ticking of the doomsday machine. In summary, the climate crisis is not something to be fought on in individual levels. The hope of thwarting this impending danger lies upon the cooperation of global leaders, and at times like this, the Green New Deal is an ever-so flickering ray of hope.
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