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Emission-free hour: a good initiative 

05 Julie 2010 01:26:00

Emission-free hour: a good initiative

Yasir Ilyas

ISLAMABAD, July 5, 2010: The world we live in is of crucial importance for us. The nature and the eco-system of this world is a key element to preserve the environment. But we have been unintentionally destroying the planet in the name of industrialisation and economic race since centuries.

According to a report, two to five trillion US dollars of world’s economy are spent, almost without notice or comment, as a result of degradation and destruction of the planet’s nature-based resources.

We all are responsible for this destruction up to some extent. Some common activities which are causing destruction of eco-system include: de-forestation i.e. cutting trees in great numbers, for commercial as well as domestic use; burning more fuel; emitting carbon dioxide in atmosphere in a large quantity; throwing industrial wastes into open fields and clean water and consuming power more than required.

All these activities are causing degradation of our natural resources like melting of glaciers, rise in global temperature and extreme weather conditions like droughts and floods. We have to spend 2-5 trillion US dollars for the ‘adaptation’ or in other words, to get used to the effects of these changes.

Who is to blame? Interestingly, no one is ready to confess the charge. The under-developed world blames G8 for the phenomena; G8 considers developing countries (Brazil, India and China) responsible for it. No matter who is the main culprit, all will have to share its grave consequences.

G8 will have to play a major role, as its member countries face the allegation of being a ‘chief polluter’.

Developing countries will have to play their role too, as they are growing economies. United States’ role is of utmost importance being is the only non-signatory of Kyoto Protocol, that too is going to expire in 2012. So a new and better plan is needed to be worked out to protect the nature-based resources. Bali Roadmap (communiqué of a conference held in Bali, Indonesia) could be helpful in this regard.

This is general approach; we will have to work on individual and intra-state level to protect the environment. We will have to reduce the use of energy unnecessarily and will have to depend on natural environment.

The Ministry of Environment has taken a good initiative in this regard by deciding to observe ‘Emission-free Hour’ on June 5, 2010, in context of ‘Environment Day’ by stopping all road traffic and industrial production from 12 noon to 1 p.m. We should make this drive successful and should minimise emission on regular basis; otherwise we will have to face grave consequences of degrading and destructing nature-based resources by emission of carbon dioxide in excessive amount.