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Climate literacy for planet conservation

Building a sustainable planet by investing in innovative green technologies
Last Updated 06 May 2022, 00:24 IST

Climate change has a devastating impact on people and our planet, a fact that is now well proved by the frequent extreme weather conditions over the last decade across the world. Global warming, erratic rainfall patterns, loss of green cover and biodiversity, increased health risks, poverty and displacement are issues that are exacerbated because of climate change. Bridging the gap between policy interventions and individual actions for climate change, are industrial processes and production.

Industry in India contributes to 23.2% of the GDP and stands to lose productivity due to rising temperature. As a sector contributing to emissions and with a large potential to reduce them, the industry has a vital role to play in propelling the efforts on mitigating climate change by furthering climate compliant adaptations. With the use of cleaner technologies for processes and operations and empowering consumers for the choices they make, industries can significantly reduce environmental damage.

The rapid transformations in digital technology in the last few decades have brought a paradigm shift in how information is processed for enabling better decision-making. The industry which can increase the efficiency of manufacturing processes, and whose resources and savings benefits are well-documented, is essential in minimising the environmental impact and firmly intermeshes the use of technology in modern industry for environmental sustainability. Automation, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), and data-driven decision-making have a key role in initiating effective action toward sustainability.

Increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the energy mix, increasing energy efficiency, utilising clean cooling systems, maximising efficiencies in material use and encouraging circularity to minimise resource extractions, and necessitating wastewater treatment and reuse are some of the ways that can strengthen new pathways for sustainability and reduce the over-exploitation of natural resources.

Prioritising these key areas and enabling the supply chain partners to adopt green processes and technologies can help businesses reduce their environmental impact. One of the often-missed aspects of climate actions is the sustainability of the actions themselves over the long term. While the current strategies towards limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C and incorporating climate-adaptive actions to make human habitations more resilient to climate change may be achieved in the desired timeframe, it will be necessary to ensure that actions to mitigate climate change continue. With digital innovations set to influence all walks of life – from social connections to production and consumption – it is imperative that people understand their relationship with climate. The growing realisation among the masses that climate change is real, has highlighted an urgent need for educational resources enhancing climate literacy. With this newly emerged gap, it is imperative to build capacities of teachers to infuse climate change education in the lessons with an action-oriented approach.

The three core aspects that should be included are - understanding the science of climate change that helps students understand its implications and find scientific solutions, climate action to understand how the impact can be mitigated, and climate adaptation that prepares them to cope with the adverse effects of climate change. As more industries become environment-conscious, the next generation of employees will need to be green-jobs ready and acquainted with green technologies. Besides formal education, a deeper interaction and understanding of the environment at a more practical level can very well set the course of climate-positive action for the future.

Various industry and philanthropic initiatives aim to increase environmental action and academic interest amongst students and youths. Many such initiatives highlight the power that citizen movements have in influencing environment conservation. These movements have successfully highlighted the role of the youth as ambassadors of environment conservation. Similarly, philanthropic organisations will have a huge role to play in supporting environment-focused non-profit organisations to scale up their initiatives and improve climate literacy.

While climate literacy can unlock potential avenues for climate action across industries, sectors, and job roles, the adaption of green technology will pave the path for a sustainable future for our planet.

(Tejashree is Head -
Environment & Sustainability at Godrej & Boyce and Neha is Content & Training specialist at WWF-India)

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(Published 05 May 2022, 17:39 IST)

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