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Voting Green

By Kamalini Ramesh

I always imagined that studying in a boarding school amidst the hills would be filled with days surrounded by tall trees and mild, breezy weather. Not for a second did I imagine that I would spend half my days cooped up inside due to heavy rains and the other half applying layers of sunscreen to protect myself from the blistering heat. Though I was never a sceptic, the full extent of climate change dawned on me only when I experienced it first-hand.

The Paris Agreement signed eight years ago was a landmark in our fight against climate change. However, the promises made to forge the agreement have long been broken. Currently, the world is on track to warm nearly three degrees Celsius- twice the amount targeted in the agreement. Setting up a climate fund to help developing countries too was reiterated in the Paris Agreement. This target was met nearly two years after the original deadline. With world powers holding elections this year, just how much green change is on their agendas?

This year is dubbed as one where Indians will be voting for ‘green’ policies. Both the competitors for power have elaborate plans for a greener future. The ruling party is trying to achieve energy independence in 2047, marking a hundred years since independence. It also aims to launch a National Atmospheric Mission. The Indian National Congress has also made pledges to set up green funds and create green jobs. These policies are merely castles in the air until efficiently implemented. With younger voters going to the polls, climate change has become a focus of government policies.

Similarly in the United States climate change has returned to the top of electoral agendas. President Joe Biden is hoping to galvanise countries to reduce their methane emissions by thirty per cent by 2030 and a transition away from fossil fuels. The Republican campaign has been centred on battling human activities that cause climate change. Their policies aim to incentivize companies to develop carbon capture technologies and cut down on burdensome funds.

With scientists and the public alike scrambling to find solutions to address climate change, supportive policies from the administration would boost their efforts. The focus of solutions adopted to battle climate change should be accessible. Even the most vulnerable communities- tribal communities and communities living in harsh climatic zones- should be able to reap the benefits of our efforts.


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