COP 28, which took place in Dubai, ended on a very positive note, mainly for deciding to transition away from fossil fuels. Further, it decided to operationalise the loss and damage fund to work towards global renewables and energy efficiency.
The main objective was to make people aware of the climate crisis through Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA), make a commitment to reducing cooling related emissions, declaring to triple nuclear energy, to accelerate coal transition and by taking a Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnership (CHAMP) initiative for climate action.
Ironically, India led an initiative at COP 28, better late than never, called Global River Cities Alliance (GRCA) highlighting the role of India in sustainable river-centric development. Should we consider the Narmada, Sardar Sarovar Project as sustainable development? (Rhetorical question!)
Agreements made are one side of the coin and efficient execution is another ball game. We will have to wait and see how that transpires. Nevertheless, if these measures are undertaken we will surely contribute to decreasing the carbon footprint and help assist in climate healing.
Yesterday, on the streets of Panjim, Goa, you would have noticed animal lovers rallying for animal liberation and veganism. However, in their interview, they mentioned the vulnerable case of the animals, doing less harm to them would also contribute to decreasing our carbon footprint.
I am reading a very interesting book by animal rights activist Poorva Joshipura titled Survival At Stake. The book examines the significance of organisms and their contribution to life. Additionally, it makes the case that animal welfare and human welfare are interwoven and that humans and other animals are more alike than we may think, evidently hinting at the need for an integral ecology.
The concept of integrated ecology recognises the interdependence of humans and the natural environment. It is concerned with the environment, the impoverished and the underprivileged. Its basic idea is that human behaviour affects other people, the environment and future generations. Recognizing the interdependence of environmental, economic, political, social, cultural and ethical issues, it is a holistic ecology. Pope Francis said that integrated ecology requires the vision to think of comprehensive solutions to issues that impact people and the environment.
So, what we do with the animals that affect nature directly or indirectly. The Goa Animal Liberation March activists held slogans like ‘Animals are not ours to be used or exploited’, ‘Dairy destroys motherhood, live vegan’, ‘Ditch dairy live vegan’, ‘Stop consuming animal products’, ‘They feel pain too’.
The march for sure made people aware of the plight of our animals and how we ought to stop harming them just because of our momentary pleasures. They also made it clear that animals have the same inherent rights as people, including freedom from exploitation and the right to life.
According to estimates, the Indian cattle or meat industry emits more than 200 million tonnes of CO2 equivalents annually. In addition to harming the ecosystem and wasting energy, a persistent rise in greenhouse gas emissions may also raise surface temperatures. So, imagine the harm we are doing not just to the creatures but also to the biodiversity around us.
Now that we are in the mood and the season of Christmas, more than ever, we would want to enjoy the delicious dishes that would be made out of these animals. Probably we may not be able to get rid of them immediately because of the tradition of the past and the taste buds that we still hold dear. But, can we make efforts of moderation? Can we stop extracting too much from the cattle just to meet our greed?
We may not be able to do great things, but can we start small by taking care of the animals around us? Here is what we can do, let us start by educating ourselves. Let us educate ourselves on how we can find an alternative to meat.
Let us educate ourselves on the atrocities we do towards animals around us and how they can be harmful to the environment. Let us educate ourselves on how we can support the lives of these animals.
The major step we will have to take is to make a lifestyle change. There are many products in the market that are directly or indirectly a result of the harm done to animals. We will have to become aware and become conscious and educate the people around us.
We can also be part of various organisations like ‘the Vegoan’ which speaks out for the total liberation of animals. Let’s start small, but start somewhere, all for the love of our mother earth.