Countries most vulnerable to the impact of climate change pledged to generate all their future energy needs from renewable energy sources.
While the climate conference being held in Marrakesh, Morocco, might not have been very fruitful, on the last day of the summit, 48 of the poorest countries that usually bear the worst impact of the rapidly changing climate agreed to an ambitious pledge. These countries jointly agreed to run on 100 percent renewable energy, reported BBC. While these nations haven’t set a deadline, they will achieve the goal, “as rapidly as possible.”
The countries are trying to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 Celsius above pre-industrial levels, reported Reuters. They feel transitioning to 100 per cent renewable energy sources as soon as possible could allow them to ward off several disastrous effects of global warming occurring due to the ever-increasing burning of fossil fuels to support rapid urbanization and industrialization. In the high-level meeting, the 48 members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum promised to update their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement “as early as possible before 2020,” reported Business Green. Together, the countries intend to prepare strategies for ensuring carbon emissions are steadily lowered until the mid-century.
Multiple nations that are part of the forum, including the Maldives, the Marshall Islands, Vietnam, Costa Rica, Bangladesh, and Madagascar, are being increasingly threatened by extreme weather events. While low-lying nations like Bangladesh are steadily losing their coastlines to rising seas, many African nations are facing harsher droughts.
Needless to say, these countries are at the forefront of the negative impact of global warming and could soon become victims of unpredictable and severe weather patterns, which could easily prove disastrous, pointed out Dr. Gemedo Dalle, chair of the forum and Ethiopian environment minister.
“Without stronger climate action, we might not survive, and this is not an option. This ambition is crucial to their survival in a warming world, as well as an example to other, more prosperous nations.”
Incidentally, many of these vulnerable nations will require crucial support from richer and developed countries to completely switch to renewable energy. These countries need infrastructure and financial assistance, which might be difficult to come by from the developed nations, especially if they don’t support the same ideology.
Moreover, these vulnerable nations are often the industrial backyard for the rich nations. Hence, despite their noblest intentions, the poorer nations might have to stick to traditional fuel sources that have a well-established supply chain management backed with a high degree of reliability. In comparison, renewable energy sources often fail or fall short if the weather conditions aren’t optimum, claim proponents of fossil fuel usage.
Fossil fuels like coal still dominate the energy market, which hasn’t shown any signs of regression in the past several decades. Owing to the steady supply, many of the vulnerable countries, including Philippines and Bangladesh, have plans to deploy several coal-based power plants in the next five to ten years, reported Climate Change News. Hence severing ties with such conventional fuel sources might prove quite difficult, noted several experts. Given the prevalent conditions, the regional governments themselves might not release funds to opt for renewable energy sources simply because going green is an expensive and relatively unreliable proposition.
Interestingly, industrial nations like China have been steadily increasing their reliance on renewable energy sources despite operating their factories round the clock. China has made several strides towards a low-carbon economy, noted Saleemul Huq, director of the Dhaka-based International Centre for Climate Change and Development.
Incidentally, there are a few countries that have stayed committed to ditch fossil fuels and increase their reliance on renewable energy sources to power their economies. If the vulnerable nations could steadfastly stay away from the incentives to remain committed to conventional and polluting fuel sources, they could gradually develop infrastructure that produces energy without generating greenhouse gases.
[Featured Image by Sean Gallup/Getty Images]