By Asim Nawaz Abbasi
Human activities, such as the use of fossil fuels, deforestation and unsustainable agriculture have been substantially increasing the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. These increases enhance the natural greenhouse effect, which will result in additional warming of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere, decreases the availability of nutritious food and clean water and may adversely affect natural ecosystems and humankind.This leads to malnutrition, ill health and migration, rendering youth particularly vulnerable. At the same time, youth constitute the majority of the population in many countries including Pakistan and have an increasingly strong social and environmental awareness, which has the power to transform our societies towards a low-carbon and climate resilient future.
Climate change is the biggest challenge of the current age. what i assume is of even greater importance than terrorism and unemployment around the world. It is the common challenge of the whole world that needs serious attention globally and at individual levels. Being participant of COY11 and COP21 held in Paris when i saw more than 152 head of states gathered at one place for one common cause i became even more concerned about the adversaries of climate change but at the same time gave me a confidence that world leaders are seriously thinking to tackle this problem because Its impacts range from affecting agriculture sector, endangering food security, to sea-level rise and the accelerated erosion of coastal zones increasing the intensity of natural disasters, species extinction, and spread of vector-borne diseases. This issue is of great importance for every citizen living on the planet earth. Hence it requires an initiative against it globally.
When it comes to global challenges we people generally look towards experts for solutions without thinking of the ways and possibilities of individual and society’s participation to address problems. There is no doubt that experts like scientists, policymakers, and thought leaders must collaborate to find a solution to this complex problem. But we have much to do as an individual and as a community that is often overlooked. Youth constitutes a major portion of the world’s population so without their active participation we cannot have a problem free world. Youth plays an important role in tackling global issues and hence climate change cannot be overcome without their active involvement.
Young people when empowered and given the right direction and opportunities are effective drivers of change. Young people can actively engage at community, national and global levels in raising awareness, running educational programmes, conserving our nature, promoting renewable energy, adopting environment friendly practices, pushing governments to adopt environment friendly policies and implementing adaptation and mitigation projects.
Economists predict that damage from climate impacts may amount to as much as 5% of the World GDP by 2100 and if a wider range of risks and impacts is taken into account, the estimates of damage could rise to 20% of GDP or more. So youth being the future of the world should be well aware of the damages that can occur because of climate changes and should work on the strategies and plans to have a environment friendly world and should mobilise the community to achieve the desired goals.