Climate Change Mitigation
Climate change mitigation means making it less likely that climate hazards like floods, heatwaves and heavy precipitation events will damage communities. It involves reducing emissions and enhancing sinks.
It is crucial to decouple the economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions. New York has taken a variety of initiatives and actions to reduce emissions and promote climate equity.
Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
According to https://www.greencitytimes.com/, taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is central to climate change mitigation. Individuals, communities and nations can all take action. This can include a range of measures from changing our energy source to reducing how much we drive or fly.
Carbon taxes and cap-and-trade systems can help reduce emissions. Retrofitting existing buildings to make them energy efficient, investing in renewable energies, such a solar, wind or small hydro, promoting sustainable transportation, such a buses, trains or electric vehicles, and reducing the consumption of fossil fuels, such oil and coal, are all ways of reducing emissions. It can also include encouraging more conservation and re-use of resources such as water, land and timber; restoring and conserving natural systems such as forests, wetlands, soils and grasslands, and preserving ocean ecosystems including fisheries and coral reefs.
We can also promote smarter development in our cities and towns, which will relieve pressure on the natural systems. For example, building homes, businesses and public places close together, allowing for walking, biking and public transit options, can reduce emissions from transportation by 9 to 15 percent. Keep parks, beaches and other areas of ecological value free from development. Preserving old-growth forest can help offset deforestation emissions.
Reduced GHG emissions won’t eliminate climate change impacts that have already been “locked in” by past and current GHG emission. GHGs are able to remain in the air for many centuries. It will, however, help to reduce them significantly.
GHGs produced by burning fossil fuels account for about half of global emissions. To reduce these emissions, the economy will need to undergo a major transformation that goes beyond technological progress as usual. It will also involve policies, incentive programmes and investment programmes in all economic sectors. This includes energy generation and use as well as transport, buildings, industry, and agriculture.
Everyone can help by reducing their emissions, letting their elected officials know that they support climate smart policies, and supporting companies who embrace renewable energies. We can also encourage our local communities to become more energy-efficient and educate ourselves about how to protect the environment. Finally, we can normalize climate change and start a dialogue that will encourage others to join us.
Reducing The Risk Of Climate Change
Climate change is already happening, and will only get worse if we do not take action. Global temperatures are rising rapidly, largely due to our use and misuse of oil, coal and gas as energy sources and for other purposes, and changes in land-use such as deforestation. This is adding to the excess warmth trapped in the atmosphere from greenhouse gases (GHGs). This is what’s causing the world to warm.
Climate change threatens all that people depend on, from infrastructure and habitats to food and water. Extreme droughts and heatwaves can cause flooding, and some regions are more vulnerable than others. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of our planet. Our oceans will rise 0.95 to 3.61 ft this century, threatening coastal ecosystems.
Mitigation is primarily about keeping the global average temperature rise within the Paris agreement limit. This means reducing GHG emission globally and increasing sinks, like forests, to absorb the additional heat. Mitigation can be done by policy measures that incentivise cleaner activities or disincentive those with high GHG emissions, and can be applied in the fields of energy, transport, buildings, industry, agriculture and forestry, and waste management.
We can reduce climate risks in many ways, but the most important is to pressure governments and businesses into action. The fossil fuel industries – which are responsible for the majority of GHG emissions – have lots of money to spend on lobbying and campaigning to prevent effective action. We need to demand action, and make it clear that we will buy products from companies that put the safety of their customers and our planet above profits.
We also need massive investments in building up a greener, more sustainable economy. This should include retrofitting old buildings to be more energy-efficient; developing renewable energy sources such as solar and wind; supporting cities to develop sustainable transport systems; and stopping land degradation. We also need to provide $100 billion per year to vulnerable countries to help them adapt to climate changes and build resilient economies.
Climate Change: Reducing Its Impact
Climate change mitigation is a global endeavor, but there are opportunities for individuals to act. People can reduce their emissions by switching to alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power, carpooling and biking, driving less and reducing waste. They can also support companies that are taking measures to mitigate climate changes. They can also make a difference if they encourage their family and friends to take similar steps.
Increasing awareness of the importance of climate change mitigation is one of the most important steps in building resilience to future climate hazards and disasters. This is especially true for communities most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. This includes urban, rural and tribal communities with limited resources to prepare for and respond to future changes. These communities are more susceptible to the negative effects of climate changes, such as increased floods and storm surges, reduced water availability, reduced agricultural production, and diminished tourism-dependent economics.
The best way of reducing the risks of climate changes is to limit the increase in global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius. This will require that human activity emissions be reduced and natural carbon sinks are enhanced. Currently, natural lands such as forests, wetlands, grasslands, and agricultural soils are removing CO2 from the atmosphere through natural processes and storing it in their biomass. But their loss to development and degradation releases this stored carbon back into the atmosphere. WWF is working with cities, states, and businesses to deliver on the Paris Climate Agreement commitment to bring CO2 emissions down to levels that will keep warming below two degrees Celsius.
Local governments can promote climate change mitigation and adaptability through smart growth strategies that protect ecosystems, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and allow for sustainable land use. This can include promoting reuse of existing building to save energy costs, encouraging construction in areas that are less vulnerable to climate change impacts, avoiding development in environmentally-sensitive areas, and preserving open space to reduce flooding, provide wildlife habitat, improve water and air quality. These approaches are less expensive and have fewer negative impacts on the environment, social and economic than engineered shoreline options like sea walls.
Adapting To Climate Change
Mitigating climate changes involves changing the way we live, and how we grow food in order to reduce greenhouse gas emission. Adapting to its effects – adjusting for increased flooding, higher sea levels, more frequent and intense hurricanes, and heat waves – is another important aspect of mitigating the climate change. Adaptation measures include everything from farmers planting drought resistant crops to governments designing roads that can withstand flooding.
Unlike mitigation measures, adaptation measures focus on reducing risks and do not limit future emissions of greenhouse gases. More than 70% of countries have adopted adaptation plans and policies. They include all levels of government – including cities, provinces, and all sectors – as well as actions at all levels. They also address social concerns like gender and vulnerability as well as the effects of global climate change.
The goal of adaptation should be to reduce vulnerabilities and improve resilience by identifying and prioritizing cost-effective solutions that reduce risks or take advantage opportunities created by climate change.
Adaptation plans address additional risks posed by climate change, which aren’t addressed in current approaches to development. These include the need for water resistant infrastructure or a more resilient food supply system. It also addresses the impacts of climate change on ecosystems, and allows for more nature-based approaches such as building wetlands in order to protect against rising ocean levels or preserving forest for food security and disaster reduction.
The costs of adaptation to climate change are high, and they are particularly high for the poorest countries and communities. Many are struggling to afford basic services and are already putting up with the damaging effects of climate change. They need assistance to invest in adapting and building their economies through innovative ideas. Fortunately, some of the world’s wealthiest nations are taking action by providing billions in financing for climate change adaptation and resilience.