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Is climate change an environmental problem?

Is climate change an environmental problem?

By Evelyn Pallotta

Oxfam in its report entitled “Climate Wrongs and Human Rights”, states that the richest nations in the world have caused most of the problem due to the use of fossil fuels for power generation and to move transport, while the poorest peoples of the world suffer the most from its effects. The report concludes by stating that "Climate change was seen first as a scientific problem, then as an economic one and now it has become an issue of international justice ".


Is climate change an environmental problem? Also human, legal and economic rights

It seems that more and more societies are discovering that climate change is far from being merely a problem of greenhouse gas emissions and climate factors. Its social, economic and legal nexus grows when we begin to analyze and measure its effects on properties, crops, human rights and lives.

Not always the place where the emissions are generated is the same where their effects materialize, although in the end always, as the colloquial saying goes, the earth gives you back what you give it. Parallel to this fact, as climate change becomes more evident and its effects increase by an order of magnitude, more uncertainty is being introduced to the man-nature system, which makes the socio-environmental management of the different levels of government more complex. and more poverty, inequity and deterioration are created.

Legal agreements for the stairs, impacts from the elevator

The development of the different representatives of the countries in international summits and working meetings to reach the necessary agreements that regulate the preventive action of each country, continues to be slow in the face of the reality of the increasingly pronounced and frequent impacts of climate change. No binding agreements have been reached on who generates what amount of gases and by how much they are obliged to reduce them. It would even be necessary to assess whether, after the time since 1997, when the majority of the industrialized countries committed themselves in Kyoto to reduce the quantified amount in 1990 by at least 5% by 2012, this is still a relevant target percentage.

This increasingly forceful reality and with more drastic events over time is collected by the media every day when they report that 70% of catastrophes in the area of ​​Latin America and the Caribbean, our immediate geographical environment, respond to the effects of climate change; that in 2009 copious floods constituted 33% of the catastrophes that occurred and that in 2010 the highest records of rainwater fall in decades were measured. More and more extreme climatic expressions occur, each time more frequent, outside the regular historical patterns in a greater number of countries in the world.


Economy and climate change

Steering the wheel and changing course to reformulate development in terms of sustainable development while minimizing negative socio-environmental impacts certainly means a cost not only translated into billions of euros, dollars or any existing currency, it also means a substantial investment in terms of reformulation of processes and behavioral changes towards adaptation, mitigation and prevention of the generation of greenhouse gases and effects of climate change. It is pertinent then to ask how much it would mean in economic terms to do nothing, to stay in this "comfort zone" for some? Are all impacts financially measurable?

It is becoming more and more common to read and find arguments that balance the importance of the different areas that climate change impacts, as well as it is increasingly common to find that the gaze stops focusing on the economic sphere to balance with the social sphere.

Rights of all equally

Are environmental rights or are they not basically human rights to access to life, water, clean air, fertile soils, healthy habitat, health and productive employment?

It is worth reflecting among many other questions, in real life how much more can we expect for the black and white of the regulations that regulate emissions? Is it correct for a person who lives in a developed country to have different environmental rights than another who lives in a developing country? Who has the right to deny development and progress to some countries and with it their inhabitants compared to others? Will there be quotas for the implementation of clean energy? Who has the right to impact with their behavior the lives of others and the accessibility of the earth's resources to new generations? Are ethical and moral arguments more powerful than economic arguments? Certainly the problem transcended the merely climatic field and it must be dimensioned with instruments beyond remote sensors, rain gauges, thermographs or losses of crops and equipment in order to build the appropriate response.

The non-governmental organization called Oxfam made up of a confederation of 15 organizations jointly networked with 3,000 local organizations and a presence in 100 countries around the world, in its report called “Climate Wrongs and Human Rights”, (Human rights and errors on climate ), establishes that the richest nations in the world have caused most of the problem due to the use of fossil fuels for power generation and to move transport, while the poorest peoples of the world suffer the most from its effects. emphasize that Oxfam is an organization that works to eradicate injustice and poverty, believes that respect for Human Rights will help those immersed in it to get out of poverty and that economic and social justice are crucial to achieve sustainable development. The report concludes by stating that "Climate change was seen first as a scientific problem, then as an economic one, and now s e has become an issue of international justice. "

Inclusive environmental management

In this as in other cases, systemic environmental management has proven to be a powerful tool. Having a holistic, universal and inclusive vision of environmental problems, framed in time, realistically qualified as the implacable, brings us closer to reality and allows us to evaluate it in its moments with which we can have comparative measures that tell us how it happens both the phenomenon of climate change and our impact to modulate it.

According to Rojas, R.A. (2011), from the political, institutional and legal perspective we are talking, with this vision, of approaching a governance approach that is not reduced to how to exercise power but to the way in which the authorities and civil society define mechanisms to process decision-making in favor of the common interest within a framework of legitimacy, trust and transparency, to which I add, in a timely manner, with equity and by strengthening institutions.

Evelyn Pallotta - Biologist. Ecologist. Environmental analyst. Currently she works as Director of Ecology and Environment of the Miranda State. Twitter @eapallotta


Video: Climate Change - an environmental problem (June 2021).