Listen to the article

The United Nations defines climate change as “long-term shifts in temperature and weather patterns. While these changes can occur naturally, driven by variations in solar activity or major volcanic eruptions, human activities have become their primary driver since the nineteenth century. This is mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and gas.”

However, the issue has never been solely about defining it. Despite assertions for years, some theorists of unfettered economic freedoms have maintained that there is no true link between significant industrial progress and the resulting toxic emissions, and the subsequent climate change on Earth. This reflects a denial of reality, an exaggeration, and a stubborn refusal to acknowledge the genuine risks facing tf uels he Earth unless swift action is taken to address them.

At the UN Conference COP 28, convened in Dubai in December 2023, UN Secretary-General António Guterres emphasized that “the scientific consensus is crystal clear: Keeping Earth’s temperature rise below 1.5 degrees Celsius, which is a pivotal goal outlined in the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement, will be impossible without a gradual transition from all fossil fuels.” This recognition has garnered support from an expanding and diverse coalition of countries.

As the countries participating in the conference reached a consensus on a “gradual transition” away from oil, gas and coal, doubts linger regarding their commitment to this path. This skepticism stems from the economic reliance of many nations on these resources and their limited financial capacity to shift toward a clean, green economy. Nonetheless, considerable progress has been achieved by the private sector and individual initiatives in numerous countries, through the installation of solar panels for energy generation and water heating, among other procedures.

Even though these initiatives are important, they are insufficient to drive the required transformation and change worldwide. Achieving this necessitates active involvement from governments and major heavy industries, which must develop new policies and plans to facilitate a gradual transition towards alternative means of production. Such efforts should prioritize factors beyond mere commercial and financial gains, taking into consideration the well-being of the entire global population.

The summit produced a series of crucial and ambitious decisions that could catalyze the desired transformation, contingent upon sincere commitment from governments and relevant authorities. Key highlights include the establishment of the Loss and Damage Fund designed to aid climate-vulnerable developing countries, with nations pledging hundreds of millions of dollars thus far; commitments totaling $3.5 billion to renew the resources of the Green Climate Fund; new pledges exceeding $150 million for the Least Developed Countries Fund and the Climate Change Fund; a $9 billion annual increase in climate-related project funding from the World Bank between 2024 and 2025, alongside several other resolutions.

It has become obvious that the favoritism towards transcontinental businesses, backed by governmental support and reaping substantial profits, poses a significant barrier to addressing climate change. Governments harbor concerns about these businesses, fearing widespread unemployment and the potential impact on their stature. They ensure that these corporations have access to all necessary elements for success, survival and prosperity, even at the expense of populations.

According to some information, China and the US continue to lead in emitting the largest amounts of fossil fuel emissions, with the EU following closely behind. Paradoxically, it is the developing and impoverished nations that suffer the consequences of the policies of major industrialized ones. Indeed, they bear no responsibility and receive no benefits from the wealth generated by them. The poorest countries supply the low-cost labor needed to achieve industrial and commercial activities.

Undoubtedly, addressing climate change is a complex issue, intricately linked to the global economy and its future course. The entire population of Earth mustn’t bear the brunt of the greed exhibited by certain governments and industrial and commercial companies. We must safeguard our beautiful planet from successive environmental crises.