Historically, King Canute (995 – 1035 AD) - the ruler of England, Denmark and Norway, was surrounded by sycophants. One day, he ordered his courtiers to take him to the sea shore, where he challenged them, saying, “Do you believe that I can halt the sea?” None disputed the fact, so Canute commanded the sea to cease its upward march. But soon Canute’s feet were covered in water, showing that even he was unable to hold back the tide. King Canute’s experiment demonstrated that there are some natural forces beyond the control even of the wisest kings. Nevertheless, there are some sophistic Kings who persist in the view that man can – indeed must – alter not only the tides but also the weather. This illustrates that, among others, anthropogenic interferences can indeed change the weather and eventually climate both locally and globally.
Global warming and Greenhouse effects are a direct consequence of climate change, triggered mainly by emissions of Greenhouse Gases. Going by the global consumption trends, conventional fossil-fuel will continue to dominate the global energy scene for at least the first couple of decades of the 21st century despite its dwindling global strategic reserve position. It is therefore essential to find ways and viable means to contain and cut on energy-related emissions without necessarily compromising energy security in a cost-effective, sustainable and eco-friendly manner. Paralleled, this should be amply backed up by extensive mitigation and adaptation efforts by the global community for all-round sustainable growth and development to help build a ‘Carbon-Neutral Global Society’ in the available ‘Carbon-space’ of the planet. Keeping this perspective in mind a Special issue of the Asia-Pacific Business Review Journal is brought out on the theme “Global Climate Change and Sustainable Development”. The Special issue contains 13 papers contributed by eminent researchers, policy makers, scientists, environmentologists and management specialists. A brief account of these papers is highlighted.
Timi Ecimovic in his paper on ‘Philosophy of the Sustainable Future of Mankind’ epitomises the significance of the quest for knowledge and understanding of the nature and meaning of the universe and life. This implies that corporate and individual social responsibility will have to play a more important part in future, for new great achievement of our civilization to overcome the crisis of living conditions within the biosphere of the planet.The discussion in the paper presents a contemporary science approach to present the Nature, energy, drinking water, food, credit and societal crisis of humankind. The sustainable future of mankind or harmony of our civilization with the nature of the planet Earth is therefore an option for mankind to survive the approaching impact of the climate change system at the biosphere of the planet Earth. To supplement further, Streimikiene and Leal Filho’s paper provides an analysis of climate change mitigation policies assessment with a cross-reference to the principles of sustainable energy development. . The main focus of the article is to define the European Union’s sustainable energy development targets, to analyse energy and climate change mitigation policies and their interactions and to propose a framework for climate change mitigation policies assessment and ranking. The main findings of this paper are related to the development of a new technique for climate change mitigation policies assessment and application of this technique for ranking the climate change mitigation policies in Lithuania.
The paper authored by Pandey et al illustrates some model development exercises for Region-Specific GHG-Emission-Factors (ERG), which is based on realistic parameters. The paper discusses issues related to methane emission from wetlands, mangroves and hydroelectric reservoirs. In short, the article presents a snap-shot of the kind of activities which need regular pursuance, refinement, modification and application in regard to evolving site-specific, region-specific and ecosystem-specific environmental management plans aimed at combating the climate regulated environmental crisis. Various National and International Agencies are actively involved to reduce GHG emissions. Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Emissions Trading, and emerging Carbon Market aiming at Carbon Neutrality are some among the major initiatives that are seemingly retarding the emission intensity levels across polluting and vulnerable industries. National and International policy support towards sustainable energy development in a Mission mode is suggested by Sarkar in his paper as a pragmatic approach to bring in reversal of the climate change processes while ensuring energy security in one hand, health and environmental safety on the other through international cooperation in carbon financing, mitigation and adaptation measures in the Post-Copenhagen era.Since the climate crisis demonstrates that the environment and the climate badly adjust to the needs of the economy, what is needed is instead is adjustment of the current economical system. The paper contributed by Bladh discusses some of the current tendencies in the global economy which are neither sustainable nor desirable. It also tries to identify some principles for the design of a completely new global way of producing, consuming, trading and transporting. Bladh further contends that the reference for change is the need for democratization and localization of the economy. Extensive social scientific research into human reactions to threats provides some insights into the psychological strategies that humans are likely to adopt in the face of the threat of climate changes. The paper contributed by Subramanium and Mathai explains the different factors which contribute to better adaptation to climate changes. The authors hold the view that an integrated model approach incorporating social, psychological, physical, physiological, and technological elements in the environment need to be undertaken effectively to moderate potential damages to take advantage of opportunities, or to cope with consequences of climate changes.
Power is the basic need and key driver for economic growth and poverty alleviation as per capita energy consumption is an index for standard of living. With the increase of industrialization, the Indian government is struggling to meet the growing electricity demand. In the present scenario, the issue of sustainability has been bought to the forefront, particularly because of increasing consumption of fossil-fuels, ever-raising fuel import bill, India’s commitment to reduce carbon intensity and a phenomenal transmission and distribution loss of power. Chowdhury and Sengupta in their paper on Assessment of Carbon-di-Oxide Mitigation potential review the opportunity of carbon emission mitigation through implementation of Energy Efficiency measures in the Power Sector of West Bengal which also brings forward the collateral benefits such as sustainability in energy and economy, control of fuel consumption and its import bill and reduction of losses in transmission and distribution. The present work of Gupta and Kumari addresses the issue of climate change with the usage of composites materials in different fore-front areas. Composites find a wide range of applications and add a lot of value towards a sustainable environment. Ranging from the building materials to the aviation materials, an eco-effective solution has been proposed with specific composites. Along with the traditional materials, the modern era green and bio-composites have also been dealt with in the paper, presenting a cost-effective and readily available technological solution to the high-range global concern. Indian coastal zone has widely varying physical and demographic characteristics with varying risk profile for the cyclonic storms that cross the coastline during monsoon period every year. Vulnerability of the coastal zone depends upon both the risk arising from them and the exposure area characteristics of the coastal areas. Nallathiga has attempted to depict the vulnerability profile of Indian coastal zone in terms of exposure area characteristics and the storm risk profile taking cognizance of coastal insularity and population density.
In recent times, green products, green processes and even green companies have become the order of the day. Among the most polluting industries in Corporate India; besides the manufacturing and chemical industries, is the construction industry, given its nature of work. An attempt has been made by Shah and Bhaskar to highlight some of the best practices implemented by the Larsen & Toubro’s ECC Division for Natural Environment Management and protection. Significant factors responsible for environmental problems are pollution, over-population, threat of diseases, unsustainable agriculture, global climate change, solid wastes generation and so on. This has, therefore, necessitated developing innovative solutions to these problems; and one among them happens to be Management of Solid Wastes. To this end, a step towards holistic approach to sustainable development is advocated by Vyas in his paper by embracing management of solid wastes to minimize its detrimental effects on nature.
Climate change affects the mining region, both directly and indirectly; and among the different environmental impacts of mining a very prominent one is damage to water resources. Talcher coalfield of Mahanadi Coalfield (MCL) - a subsidiary of Coal India Limited is one of the important coal-bearing regions in Orissa. One major river i.e., Brahmani river is passing in the NE direction of the Talcher area. Jharia Coalfield occupies an important place in India’s industrial and energy scenario by virtue of being the storehouse of Prime coking coal. Damodar is main river passing over southwest direction of Jharia coalfield. The paper by Singh et al focuses on the impact of climate change on the resultant changing pattern in respect of geology, rainfall distribution and water-table fluctuations of both the Talcher and Jharia coalfields in the study area.
Kyoto Protocol signed in 1997(COP3) and Bali Roadmap designed by COP14, a decade later in 2007, inter alia, made concerted effort to reduce emissions level substantially in a legally binding manner for the Annexure-I developed/ industrialized nations by 2012 and beyond. The key objective of the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December 2009 was to continue and improve the existing Kyoto agreement from 1997, which ends in 2012. The new Copenhagen Protocol and the amended Kyoto Protocol (i.e. two tracks) should hopefully form the core of the negotiable Agreement in December, 2010 at Mexico with the main elements agreed to and a process with the details thereof to be finalized through decisions in a year or so, in order to ensure ratification by 2011.The paper by Sarkar and Banerjee is a conceptualization, collation, review and documentation of various elements related to global climate change issues and policies - from the historic past till December, 2009.The paper, based on this exercise, also offers a prognostic Strategic and Operational Framework for future climate negotiations beyond Copenhagen.
I wish to sincerely thank all the contributors of papers for the Special issue for sharing their knowledge and expertise in the specialized and emerging area of Global climate, heralding sustainable development and promising a brighter future for tomorrow.
Dr. A. N. Sarkar