Humanity must unite to rescue Mother Nature

Tuesday, April 27th, 2021 00:00 |
Climate change. Photo/Courtesy

US President Joe Biden last week hosted a global leaders’ summit on climate change, turning political attention to the environmental crisis threatening the survival of humanity.

Scientists warn that Mother Nature is crying for help as global biodiversity declines at unprecedented rates.

One million plant and animal species face extinction, more than ever before in human history.

Biden’s critical meeting on the climate emergency follows a series of forums convened globally on the unfolding catastrophic destruction of nature. 

The climate crisis has been compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, prompting a major rethink on how to rebuild health systems and reset an inclusive economic recovery. 

There is urgent need to re-imagine and transform our relationship with nature, while promoting community and global health.

The health of our ecosystems is vital for human well-being and sustainable development. 

Continued biodiversity loss and runaway climate change, present a fundamental risk to the healthy and stable ecosystems that sustain all aspects of our societies. 

Kenya featured prominently at the Biden summit, with President Uhuru Kenyatta, one of the 40 invited heads of state, calling for global solidarity in fighting the climate crisis.

Host of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), Kenya shoulders a heavy responsibility in international efforts to restore nature. 

With global warming caused mainly by carbon emissions (the chief contributor to the climate crisis), Kenya stood out among big emitters despite belonging to the league of poor countries.

While scoring lowly in certain negative environmental practices and human rights violations such as inhumane evictions of its own citizens, Kenya’s commendable strides in the use of geothermal, wind and solar power is acknowledged.

Scientists have emphasised the need to limit planetary warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in order to stave off the worst impacts of climate change.

The US announced an ambitious 2030 emissions target as the summit called for developed nations to show greater climate ambition to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

This commitment will create well paying jobs, advance innovative technologies and help vulnerable developing countries adapt to climate change impacts.

Communities and workers will benefit from the transition to a new clean energy economy.

Environmental experts say developing countries have no “right to pollute” as they grow economically, but developing countries, which are responsible for more of the problem, “have a responsibility to lead and create equitable solutions.”

It’s a view shared by the International Energy Agency, which states that the latest estimates for global emissions are a warning for humanity because they are on track to be the second largest increase in history, leading to dangerous levels of global warming.

Yet there are grounds for optimism as electricity generated from renewables, solar and wind, break records this year.

However, getting to net-zero emissions requires more. We will need to transform our entire energy system. 

As we chase our elusive ambition to achieve harmony with nature, it is the future generation that are living in the greatest fear of the looming catastrophe and they are not taking it lightly.

Young people from all over the world last week participated in the first-ever International Union for Conservation of Nature’s ‘One Nature, One Future Global Youth Summit’. 

They unanimously called on all countries and corporations to redress environmental racism and climate injustice and create green jobs.

The youth further called for robust engagement of communities in biodiversity protection, safeguarding of the ocean, realisation of gender equality for climate change mitigation and empowerment of underrepresented voices in environmental policy-making. [email protected]

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