Many developing nations have implemented commendable policies that strive towards a greener future
Climate change is here, and it has altered our reality in irreversible ways. Part of successfully combatting the damage: past, present, and future, involve enforcing environmentally friendly policies today. These policies not only require recognition at both the government and citizen level(s) of the severity of climate change but also adequate resources. Most developing nations lack the necessary economic resources to implement many of the desirable changes, unlike their developed counterparts. Nevertheless, many of these nations have implemented commendable policies which strive towards a greener future.
With rapid urbanization, the construction industry remains a prominent ecological concern. The way cities and houses are constructed needs a radical transformation to align with a climate-compromised reality. Thailand’s participation in NAMA (Nationally Appropriated Mitigated Acts) is a fruitful attempt at combatting the problem. In collaboration with the United Nations, the project aims to promote the development of sustainable construction. The buildings under the project prioritise energy efficiency and preservation. They limit greenhouse emissions and carefully choose green materials and designs.
Urbanisation’s effects extend to a vast range of other ecological impacts. Forests are destroyed on a large scale to facilitate construction. In countries with diminishing forest cover, reforestation efforts are aided by an innovative use of drone technology. This allows for aerial seed plantation at a rate that cannot be matched in manual plantation. Madagascar has ordained the use of these drones to recover its forests in a large-scale project by hiring private start-ups that manufacture these drones. The start-ups that plant the seeds invest great care in choosing seeds that are compatible with the soil of the region and can cope with foreseeable changes in the climate. They also monitor the progress of the seedlings regularly to ensure progress.
The Maharashtra government in India has developed a unique programme to provide transparency to its citizens about who the largest polluters in their city are.
One of the biggest factors in climate change are harmful emissions from daily fuel consumption. These emissions contribute to air pollution levels in cities and add to the greenhouse effect, which exacerbates climate change. The problem with emissions is disproportionality. A few key stakeholders, such as large-scale industries, produce most of our emissions, while the consequences are suffered by us all.
The Maharashtra government in India has developed a unique programme to provide transparency to its citizens about who the largest polluters in their city are. As an industrial state, Maharashtra’s concerns over air pollution are valid. The Star Rating Program (https://mpcb.info/) allows citizens to view how clean the relevant industries are based on a government’s rating system. This paves the way for citizen-led environmental activism.
In a similar vein, one of the critical components of building a green future is switching to renewable energy sources. Renewable sources of energy are those not at risk of depletion. Turkey has an exemplary policy with relation to these goals. It boasts official statistics showing a more than ninety percent increase in power capacity along renewable lines. Government incentives in Turkey aid those using renewable sources. It has focused on wind as a potential source of energy.
In the sunny region of Kazakhstan, a similar revolution of renewable energy is emerging. The Burnoye Solar Power plant was built in 2015, near the border with Kirghizstan. A grand architectural feat, the plant exploits the sun’s potential and uses it to provide hundreds of megawatts of energy. Kazakhstan has one of the largest coal reserves in Central Asia, making its energy fossil fuel centric. This shift to solar is a monumental leap, consequently for a country so rife with non-renewable resources.
All these instances provide hope to us in Pakistan. Modern technology has provided a host of solutions that enable innovative solutions to the crisis we are facing. We may not have the economic vigour of more developed nations but by utilising the magic of technology and adopting an integrated approach to environmental issues, there is still potential to improve.
The writer is a reporter for The LUMS post