Margaret Mead, a famous American anthropologist’s saying “we won’t have a society if we destroy the environment” is a hard-hitting truth that every individual has to understand today. All human endeavors including extraterrestrial exploration, scientific progress, industrial prowess, economic upliftment and improved standard of life sound futile and pointless, without the environment to sustain and contain us. The mother earth provides us with the basic necessities to sustain life: oxygen, water and food. It is surprising to see that many of the so-called competent leaders of the modern time are being unable to comprehend this simple concept. But there are people whose minds are not polluted by the complications of human civilization and they can see thing as they are. They are CHILDREN. Teenagers are taking to undaunted and effective protests to protect the deteriorating environment.
Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old activist caught the eye of global leaders when she started “school strike for climate”, protesting outside the Swedish Parliament. She made a special address during the World Economic Forum, 2019 and spoke at TEDxStockholm as well. She wanted the Swedish government to reduce emissions as per the Paris Agreement. She has inspired more than 20,000 students globally to take part in student strikes. UN General Secretary António Guterres later admitted that “My generation has failed to respond properly to the dramatic challenge of climate change. This is deeply felt by young people. No wonder they are angry.” (Source: https://eea-greens.eu/2019/03/22/climate-strike-what-where-and-how/)
The end result is motivating. By June 2019, more and more Swedish people started taking the train for domestic transport (8% increase). This reflects the public concern on the impact of flying on carbon dioxide emission. Thunberg highlighted this by refusing to fly to international conferences. The hashtag #jagstannarpåmarken, which translates to #stayontheground has taken the social media by storm. Being embarrassed or ashamed to take a plane because of its environmental impact has been described on social media as ‘Flygskam’ or flight shame and they are using the aforementioned hashtag to spread the news.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an accumulation of 17 worldwide objectives set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 for the year 2030. The SDGs are a piece of Resolution 70/1 of the United Nations General Assembly, the 2030 Agenda. The global trends towards support and protests are also moving towards these goals. (Source: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/envision2030.htm)
The Sustainable Development Goals are:
The support that all these environmental causes are getting from the youth is mind-blowing and inspiring. An organization named AIESEC (International Association of Students in Economic and Commercial Sciences), which is the world’s biggest youth-run, non-profit association with roughly 44,280 individuals (volunteers and interns) in 127 nations has started an “Environmental Project”. The Environmental Project aims to reinforce strength and versatile ability to tackle atmosphere related risks and catastrophic events in all nations. The project has the objective of increasing awareness regarding sustainability. (Source: https://aiesec.org/opportunity/813630)
Worldwide Environment Facility (GEF) Small Grants Program (SGP) is another program that gives monetary and specialized help to networks and Civil Society Organizations to meet the general target of worldwide ecological sustainability through location-targeted activities (Source: https://www.thegef.org/topics/gefsgp). These activities aim to address worldwide natural difficulties and supplement different regions where the GEF works. Condition debasement, for example, the annihilation of biological systems and the species that rely on them, expanding dimension of carbon dioxide and other ozone harming substances in the air, contamination of universal waters, land corruption and the spread of natural toxins are hazardous difficulties that imperil every one of us. In any case, it is the economically challenged people and powerless networks that are most in danger as they are straightforwardly subject to regular threats for their occupations and subsistence. SGP expects to help these powerless networks through network driven approaches towards ecological protection and employment upgrades.
India is slowly accelerating from a supporter of environmental conservation to driver of world environmental conservation. Even though India has seven of the top 10 polluted cities of the world, Indian Government and organizations are taking things at a faster pace now. Be it holding a solid ground in the Paris Agreement or International Solar Alliance (ISA) or FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India) Scheme, the Indian government is concentrating a lot of their attention and funds towards environmental sustainability and conservation. The government had set an ambitious target in 2017 for all new vehicles to be electric by 2030 and has started working on it with great speed (Source: https://www.thegef.org/topics/gefsgp). It’s not only the government; a lot of companies are popping up in the sustainable business sector. They are mostly concentrating on solar power, innovative electric mobility battery solutions or breakthrough methods of composting.
India is never at a loss for ideas. It is the execution of the ideas we have to focus on currently. Better management of funds and resources will help in transforming a great idea into something tangible. It is but true that without the active support and contribution of the youth, this revolution can never be a success. Thus, let us all take the vow of saving Mother Earth without whom all is but fiction.
#fridaysforfuture #climatechange #savetheearth #pollution
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of IndusGuru Network Partners.
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