Showing posts from November, 2021

Opinion | Ratchets, phase-downs and a fragile agreement. What COP26 achieved — and what it didn’t

COP26 was the last call. What happens to the planet next is up to us.  As leaders from across the globe arrive in Glasgow for a focal Climate summit, the outcomes and the credibility of their commitments will fathom how a planet of nearly 7 billion people functions in the time to come, especially when it is markedly hotter, sicker and more divided than almost anytime before in the global history.  While some fundamental differences ,including over fund allocations and economic concerns, cleave the leaders headed to Glasgow, it's almost certain that they couldn't be more united if they come to  tally the grim scale of destruction which has battered every region heedless of any political and/or geographical boundaries, tragically reminding that no one shall be spared from the perils of climate change.  From deadly floods and wildfires to record-breaking rainfall and temperatures, countries including the United States, China, Germany, Greece, India and Indonesia– among others – ha

Opinion | ‘This is Hell’: Indian's gasp for breath. We seem to have learnt no lesson.

GURGAON: It was the morning of 5th November. The day after Diwali.  But it wasn’t quotidian. Waking up, I felt Congestion, unease and an acute difficulty in breathing. My eyes sored as I struggled with constant sneezing. By all means, the experience felt ominously close to what it would be, being exposed to a gas chamber.  It was exactly that.  The sight outside my bedroom window was numbing. The somber sunlight in a mild winter month as November was replaced by a thick layer of smog- a hazardous mixture combining several toxicants and fog, the vision was completely phased out and what went inside on inhaling was nothing less than poison. This rare phenomenon was now a reality inside a city that is often lauded as the 'Millennium' one.   Air quality Index till 50 is regarded as ‘safe’ and ‘good’. In my city alone, air quality recorded by officials that morning was 442. It was partly because of Firecrackers burnt so as to mark the festival and partly because of stubble burning i