INTERNATIONAL Climate Change Day is celebrated every year on June 21. This year the theme is, “Climate Change and Environmental Challenges”. Climate change is the defining issue of our time and we are at a defining moment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten food production to rising sea levels that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and unprecedented in scale. Without drastic action today, adapting to these impacts in the future will be more difficult and costly.
The evidence of climate change is compelling: sea levels are rising, glaciers are retreating, precipitation patterns are changing, and the world is getting warmer. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions is likely to cause average temperatures to rise by 0.2?C per decade, reaching by 2050 the threshold of 2?C above pre-industrial levels. Yes, we know that climate change is global, but its negative impacts are more severely felt by poor people and poor countries. They are more vulnerable because of their high dependence on natural resources and limited capacity to cope with climate variability and extremes. Restoring and maintaining key ecosystems can help communities in their adaptation efforts and support livelihoods that depend upon the services of these ecosystems.
Yes, climate change is one of the major challenges of our time and adds considerable stress to our society and the environment. Yes, climate change is a serious risk to poverty reduction and could undo decades of development efforts. But we as a people and a country need to move towards low-carbon societies that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which can in-turn improve human health and well-being and create green jobs. Climate change impacts can be mitigated by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and by enhancing the capacity of Earth’s land surface to absorb greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
While the Office of Climate Change, the Guyana Energy Agency and other government agencies along with private sector companies work to combat climate change on a national level, there are simple, everyday actions you can take to join the effort.
You can share your ideas and questions by sending letters to: “Our Earth, Our Environment”, C/O Communications Department, Environmental Protection Agency, Ganges Street, Sophia, GEORGETOWN, or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube.