United Nations Report on Climate Change – A Call for Action?

By @sachintrivedig on
People hold candles during Earth Hour after the lights were turned off in central Amman March 29, 2014.
People hold candles during Earth Hour after the lights were turned off in central Amman March 29, 2014. Earth Hour, when everyone around the world is asked to turn off lights for an hour from 8.30 p.m. local time, is meant as a show of support for tougher actions to confront climate change. Reuters/Ali Jarekji

A United Nations report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC has released the Fifth Assessment Report. The report highlights the effects and potential dangers of climate change and the options available to governments to combat the problems.

The concept of climate change has been one of the most debated ideas over the years. It refers to the climate changes on the earth due to the emission of large amounts of carbon dioxide and other green house gasses.

Scientists contend that the presence of large amounts of green house gasses in the atmosphere traps the heat in the earth, making the temperatures of the earth to rise and contribute negatively to life on earth.

According to the IPCC report on climate change the risk of poor health and disrupted livelihoods is major cause of concern for people living in low lying coastal regions and small island nations with a developing economy. Some of the concerns include storm surges, coastal flooding and rise in sea level.

The concerns for the urban population includes inland flooding, breakdown of critical infrastructure like electricity, water supply, health and emergency services due to extreme weather conditions. The most vulnerable section of the urban population is people working outdoors.

For the rural population loss of livelihood and reduced income may be caused by reduced agriculture productivity and lack of proper access of fresh water for drinking and irrigation purposes.

The report however also mentions some positive impacts of climate change. Productivity of the land for agricultural purposes may see a positive impact in the high altitude regions. The demand for heating devices is said to drop and cooling devices is said to see increased demand.

Not everyone agrees that the situation is as dire as being portrayed. Many believe that the claims of climate change are often exaggerated and border on propaganda. However people who believe the reports take it as a sign that governments need to do more.

An organisation called the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change or NIPCC has come out with its own report and a point by point rebuttal to the claims and concerns raised by the IPCC report.

The NIPCC report evaluates the effects of climate change on plants, soil, human health and marine life. With reports over reports presenting the readers with claims and counter claims the debate on the issue may continue.

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