Carbon Neutral Neighbourhood Discussions for Ecologically Sustainble India
Multiplying Carbon Neutral Neighborhood Discussions (CNNDs) for reducing the emission of GHGs
-Dr.. Muhammad Mukhtar Alam
The reports on the impacts of climate change caused by the globalization of non-renewable resource based consumption, production, habitats and transport and so on are well known such as global warming, deforestation, rise in sea level, melting of glaciers and others. Internal Panel on Climate on Climate Change has been producing reports on the impacts of the climate change. We need to work for minimizing the emissions of the green house gases. Climate change through with rise in temperature of earth, change in rainfall patterns caused due to emission of gases that is raising the temperature of earth as the amount of green house gases generated is much more than the capacity of the green cover for absorbing. Impact are being felt everywhere with impacts beyond the national boundaries. There are several recorded evidences that has caused nations to take on the challenge of global warming .Since 1997 UN intergovernmental panel on climate change has been meeting and deliberating on the issue . There are several national responses and international agreements. Recently China and US has expressed agreement work on climate. Speaking on occasion of APEC summit in Sydney, Australia Mr. Hu Jintao maintained that "the United Nations Framework conventionremain the main channel for the international efforts" to address climate change (The Hindu, September 7, 2007).
The Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which emphasised the far-reaching consequences that continued global warming would have across the world, has given fresh impetus to finding solution to the problem. The summit meeting of the Group of Eight industrialised countries (G8) heldin June 2007 in Germany saw the launch of new initiatives for collective action by both rich nations and fast-growing developing countries to combat climate change.In its Fourth Assessment Report, the IPCC, the international body that has the task of weighing scientific evidence on climate change, pointed to definitive evidence that global atmospheric concentration of key greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide had "increased markedly as a result of human activities since 1750". These gases were trapping the Earth's heat that would otherwise have radiated out into space. If the build-up of greenhouse gases and the resultant warming of the planet were allowed to continue unchecked, there would be irreversible damage to the eco-systems across the world with suffering for the billions. Already we have evidences about the villages in Gujarat relocating itself away from sea as more and more coastal area are getting submerged in the sea.
Considering the urgent need to respond to climate change, Sewa, Labour League Foundation, Sufi Trust ,Centre for Ecological Audit,Social Inclusion and Governance, a joint initiative of Sewa,labour Foundaiton and Sufi Trust has suggested the following measures:
Multiplication of carbon neutral neighbourhood discussions across the cities and villages: These discussions will be initiated by youth and community elders in the neighbourhood where they gather for collective prayer, discussions. The recommendations of the discussion simultaneous action may be presented in the form of a memorandum to the world leader gathered in various summits. The first summit that was covered was the Green House Gas Summit held in Indonesia. The discussions will have local, national and global impacts. Local impact will be generated through transformation of the leisure use pattern, consumption pattern. Email will be used for transmitting the message globally through the e-group posts. The discussions will be facilitated by volunteers or the resident welfare associations will be provided with discussion kits. Volunteers could collect feedback on improving the mass communication strategies for reducing personal contribution to the green house gases. It is believed that the discussions on the urgency of reducing green house gases will lead to the transformation of personal level consumption patterns. CEASIG believes that personal responses are critical for transformation of the consumption of pattern. Unsustainable consumption patterns can be halted with the personal responses. Personal responses are always part of the global responses. Carbon neutral neighbourhood discussions (CNNDs) will multiply ecologically safe responses across the urban and rural areas.
Multiplication of ecologically safe responses through promotion ofgreen journalism: Production of analytical and advisory outputs through journalists is critical and they are one of the major stakeholders in shaping the opinions, consumption patterns. Journalists writing on lifestyle can substantially influence the consumption pattern of people in the urban. They can help in shaping the tastes and defining the choices. Journalists are important is generating democratic consensus for halting unsustainable consumption patterns. In our times, journalists play a very critical and sometimes they are responsible for defining the social, cultural and political trends. Labour League Foundation wishes to secure the future of working class with ecologically sustainable habitats, consumption patterns.
Catalysing green politics /open politics: Labour league Foundation and Centre for Ecological Audit, Social Inclusion and Governance will be supporting the process for open and transparent politics for instilling the importance of green ideals. It will be organising meetings with the representatives of the various political parties and seek inclusion of ecological considerations in the election manifestoes.
Transformation of leisure use patterns: Labour League Foundations wishes to realise the millennium development goals for eliminating the unsustainable consumption patterns and it wishes to do so through suggesting transformation of the leisure use pattern. It wishes to do so through suggesting adoption of faith based measures that are common across the religious texts. As indicated through the diagrammatic representation of the impact of adoption of faith based measures, it wishes to generate interfaith consensus for acting simultaneously for transforming the leisure use patterns.
Calculation of ecological footprints, eliminating ecological rucksacks: Labour League Foundation wishes to disseminate the practice of measuring ecological footprints for getting the desired actions for reducing the number of decisions involving emission of green house gases.
Ecological Audit of the consumption patterns: The ecological audit is a concept proposed by the chairman of Labour League Foundation and it will be used along with the calculation of ecological footprints for assessing the impact of various decision, consumption and production patterns.
Ecological Audit of the production patterns: Production processes need to be assessed for sustainability. There are ecologically sustainable and unsustainable production processes. The workshops with corporations interested in realising the millennium development goals will be conducted for getting in the changes in production processes.
Ecological Audit of the transport patterns: Renewable resource based transport systems are sustainable and non-renewable resource based transport systems are not sustainable. Ecological Audit of the transport systems will be done with ministries dealing with transport.
Ecological Audit of the leisure use patterns: There are leisure use patterns that do not use green house gas producing fossil fuels and there are leisure use pattern that are based on renewable resources and that does not involve consumption of fossil fuels. Workshop with the neighbourhood discussion leaders and resident welfare associations be conducted for necessary transformation of leisure use patterns. Children, youths and elders be encouraged to adopt faith based measures for relaxation and stress busting.
Interfaith dialogue for addressing the climate change, farmer's suicides, and social security for workers in unorganized sector, transforming finance sector: Appreciation of the common commands for prayer, donation, compassion, charity and prohibition of usury, adultery, and homosexuality is needed with wider dissemination of the same. Adoption of these commands addresses the challenge of climate change, ecologically hostile usurious system; Inter-faith dialogue will ensure generation of responses across the faith groups. Delhi has a vibrant culture of interfaith dialogue. Sant Rajinder Singh of Sawan Kripal Ashram has been conducting the same for many years. Organisations/ individuals independently or in collaboration with other organisation may work for generating more forums of interfaith dialogue with special reference to mitigating climate change.
National Convention on Inter Faith common responses for addressing the climate change: A national convention will be organised for generating consensus for adoption of faith based measures for addressing the climate change. There are cultural responses for fighting the atheistic neo-liberal cultural trends emanating from Europe and copied by youth in the name of globalisation and modernity. National Convention could address the issue of climate change through adopting the interfaith commons while maintaining in some forms of dietary, sartorial, linguistic, religious diversity.
Youth colloquiums ( Majlis-e-Naujawan)for contributing in the mitigation of the impacts of climate change: LLF recognises the critical role of youths as an organisation led by youths. Green youth forums formed and discussions are held for getting the desired response pattern for halting the expansion of unsustainable consumption pattern and leisure use pattern through adoption of faith based measures.
What are carbon neutral neighborhood discussions?
The discussions, conversation, conferences that are held in the neighborhood with all who can be reached by foot or carbon neutral transport such as bicycle, bullock carts, horse driven carriages and others
The discussion that we hold athome and in the neighborhood spaces such as parks, tea/ coffee ,vegetable shops, milk shops-all in the neighborhood and nearby habitations, localities and .
CNNDs on what?
Personal responses for reducing the emission of green house gases
Transforming travel decisions for energy intensive leisure i.e. Leisure using GHG emitting transport and venues such as bars and discotheques
Alternative ways for getting the feeling of wellbeing including faith base practices such as practice of prayer, meditation individually and collectively
CNNDs with whom
With all irrespective of class, caste, race, religion, ethnicity, gender etc. as we all are contributors to the emission of green house gases in various measures and the impacts of the climate change are affectingus all
With children who could contribute through avoiding the green house gas emitting engagements
With women who are the potential consumers of the fossil fuel based energy, services and leisure
With youth who are the potential consumers of the fossil fuel based energy, services and leisure
With community leaders who are the potential consumers of the fossil fuel based energy, services and leisure
Who are potential contributor to the emission of green house gases
All of us are the potential contributor to the emission of green house gases
Both poor and rich, black and white, brown and yellow
Across the nations, across the neighborhoods
With men and women across the age groups
With friends and foes
What is needed for CNNDs?
Information on climate change and its reasons
Commitments for communicating the same
Setting personal examples of one is responding for addressing the impacts of climate change
Desire to talk to people in the neighborhood
Spaces for conducting the CNNDs
A group of friends or relatives in the neighborhood
Communicating ecological audit
Ecological audit of the consumption patterns- there is need to communicate ecological audit of the consumption patterns so that we are sure that we consume for survival and not for luxury and exhibition.
Ecological audit of the transport patterns- reduction in fossil fuel based transport is critical for reducing emission of green house gases. It is important to consider the interests of future generations for ecological safe habitats. Fossil fuel based transports have a short history and short future. There is need to prepare for the end of petro-modern times
Ecological audit of the use of water, energy, food and time
Ecological audit of the travel needs
Reduction in the personal contribution to the emission of green house gases
Multiplication of the discussion across the neighborhoods
Multiplication of the personal decisions for reducing the emission of green house gases
Adoption of neighborhood carbon neutral measures for leisure ,relaxation, spiritual wellbeing and procuring the provisions
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