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Holding Climate Talks Is the Wy to Resolve the Problem of Ozone Layer Depletion

Buy custom Holding Climate Talks Is the Wy to Resolve the Problem of Ozone Layer Depletion essay

Introduction

Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) cause the diminution of the ozone layer according to research of the 1970s. The ODSs come from the use of refrigerating facilities, aerosols, and fire extinguishing gadgets. The release of these substances into the stratosphere causes the depletion of the ozone layer as they react with the three-oxygen molecule of the ozone.

The atmosphere forms a layer just below the ozone layer, and it is situated just above the sea level. This layer is referred to as the troposphere: an area where gases that trap heat from the earth are concentrated. The fundamental reason for the cause of global warming takes place in the troposphere where the Green House Gases (GHGs) and anthropogenic emissions come together to trap more heat. The increasing concern of global warming is the cause of environmental problems, such as the flooding problem, the eruption of wild fires among others, which befall the earth. It is perceived that by curbing the emission of carbon (IV) oxide, the problem of global warming will be addressed.

Nonetheless, the greatest hurdle for this proposition is that it requires an agreement at the international level. Nations must commit to the binding policies aimed at resolving the problem. This position will be discussed later in this paper. One of the propositions of the Montreal talk on climate change suggested that the banning of ODSs as a check against the depletion. Instead of harmful, harmless substances should be used. The Montreal international agreement came up with the Montreal Protocol, which gave the confidence that the depletion of the ozone layer was a resolved environmental problem. Hence, this paper suggests that holding climate talks and developing international treaties supersedes the other scientific concepts like Geoengineering.

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Geoengineering: Pros and Cons

Other than the suggested agreement of all nations to curb the emission of carbon (IV) oxide, Geoengineering offers another option to resolving the problem of global warming. According to Stephen, Geoengineering involves international manipulation of the Earth’s climate system to prevent excesses that may be responsible for warming on the Earth’s surface. This venture received the green light after the suggestions from a team of British scientists, and the US Bipartisan Policy Center showed procedures that would succeed. There is the fear that Geoengineering may have adverse effects on the already fragile climate challenges from opponents of the idea. “Geoengineering for global warming may further deplete the ozone layer causing more harm than good, according to some scientists,” (Stephen). However, proponents believe that Geoengineering is an experimental procedure which adverse effects could be stopped once identified.

The hesitation about the use of Geoengineering may be short-lived because the climate change does not affect the existence of the human race directly. However, the lives will directly bear the consequences of global warming, then scientists will have to devise procedures that would restore normalcy and survival of lives on the planet. This is the reason why finding an alternative will be beneficial in the fight against global warming. Despite the potential dangers that engulf Geoengineering, the fears of Geoengineering can be allayed by sponsoring more research dedicated to the concept to answer the ‘what ifs’ that opponents may hold.

The concept of Geoengineering is based on the fact that the ozone layer is made of three oxygen molecules. The scientists in this field propose that there is a possibility of injecting oxygen gas to the layers of the ozone that have been depleted. There is continuous reaction of the oxygen molecule, atom, and the ozone if ultra violet (UV) light is present. These reactions prevent UV from penetrating the atmosphere. Therefore, Geoengineering aims at producing large quantities of oxygen that can be kept in liquid form before discharging them in gaseous form into the ozone layer. In addition, there are suggestions that aerodyne and aerostats are some of the mechanisms that can be used to convey the oxygen to the depleted parts of the ozone layer. This will prevent the penetration of the dangerous UV radiations. As mentioned above, the whole process of Geoengineering will make sense in the coming years especially when the concerns expressed by opponents of the idea are addressed. The scientists in this field should ensure that the balance of the gases should remain. The most reassuring comment is that this development will be ready for actual trials in the next few years (Stephen).

The greatest impediment to the concept of Geoengineering is how the science will change the perception of the people. Economies would want to expand in the future. The expansion of the economy will require expansion of the development projects, which in most cases, will have a negative impact on climate change. This is because more than 200 years ago, the reason for greenhouse warming and the depletion of the ozone layers were human activities (Ferguson 2). Ultimatel, the goals of Geoengineering will be surpassed with the push for economic prosperity of nations. The concept would be more successful if all the nations under the United Nations (UN) banner make a commitment to cut their carbon footprint by adopting green technologies. This follows the observation by Ferguson, “Thanks to the Montreal Protocol of 1987 and the various amendments made to it in subsequent years, concentrations of CFCs’ halons and other major ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere are now decreasing” (20).

The Ongoing Climate Talks is the Most Sustainable Solution

All parties to the UN hold talks on the best way to address the problem of climate change that is brought about by the depletion of the ozone layer. In Doha, the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP-18) that steers the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was arranged to make some important decisions. The talks seek to resolve the problem of rising greenhouse gases that, according to scientists, will affect the natural system. The Doha talks follow the Copenhagen talks where men and women agreed to set a goal. The goal is to “Cut emissions enough to curb global warming at 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degree Celsius) above the pre-industrial average, and so avert the worst repercussions” (Temesgen 1). The talks aim at cutting down the current emission trajectories and meet the targets that will reduce the devastating effects of the ozone layer depletion and worrying trends in climate change.

The Doha discussions ensured that countries pledge commitment to the Kyoto Protocol that was signed in 1997 to cut emission of GHGs to the agreed targets. There was also the expectation that negotiators will sign a new commitment to the Kyoto Protocol as the developing nations demanded the developed nations to make huge cuts in emission of carbon (II) oxide in the coming years. There was no adequate agreement as the wealthy nations did not entrust the new commitment to the Kyoto Protocol. The Commitment remains the greatest impediment to achieving UN goals in meeting the new climate demands as nations have to balance between compromising their economic strengths and the repercussions of climate change. Bruntland Report delineates sustainability as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Khanna, Hochman and Rajagopal 2). This is the main reason why the UN has had a series of talks on climate change but with little success.    

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It is quite unfortunate that nations under the UN have failed to meet their commitment to reduce emission of GHGs as “the planet has already warmed an extra of 0.8Co (1.4Co) in the past century alone, according to report of climate scientists” (Temesgen 1). The effects are bound to get worse in as global temperatures will rise by about 7.2Co by the end of the 21st century. Generally, as Tilman and Hill write, GHG “has pushed atmospheric carbon dioxide higher than any time during the past half-million years” (586). The human race ought to find a balance between food production, level of fossil fuel use, and the conservation of the Mother Nature. “Global food and fossil energy consumption are on the trajectory to double by 2050,” (Tilman and Hill 587).

The United States and other developed economies have failed to ratify the Kyoto Protocol after its expiry last year. Moreover, the developing nations like China are experiencing the dramatic economic development leading to more carbon emissions. The less developed nations have also failed to sign the new commitment because of the failures of the wealthy nations to reduce their emissions. This standoff erodes the gains that should be achieved by the Kyoto Protocol as the only binding international treaty on climate change.

The second issues that the climate talks will need to address are the pending financial disputes and issuance of permits on carbon emission. The poor nations want the wealthy nations to come up with a framework that will stipulate the distribution of the Green Climate Fund in the 2013-2020 period. The poor nations demand that the funds stand at $100 billion by the year 2020 while the wealthy nations do not want to talk about the damage that their accumulated carbon emission has done to the developing nations. The developed nations do not want to transfer their green technology to the developing nations because it violates the rights of intellectual property. The pending issues on finance and technology are a hindrance to fast tracking resolutions to the depletion of ozone and climate change issues. More talks will lead to a compromised position because the talks address fundamental issues towards the achievements of green goals.    

Despite the disagreements that emanate from the UN-organized talks, there have been gains, which are an indication that a breakthrough will be reached in the future. Moreover, this paper advocates for the continued meetings among the negotiators as the long-term solution to the devastation ccaused by the ozone layer depletion. The Doha talks resolved to extend the Kyoto Protocol until the year 2020 as it is the only binding treaty on addressing climate change. With the extension of the treaty, 35 developed economies have to cut their GHGs emission by at least 5.2% on average. This year poses a great challenge to the enhancement of the treaty with the expected inclusion of some of the countries in the European Union. This group includes Norway, Austria, Ukraine, and Switzerland that produce about 15% of total carbon emission on the planet (Temesgen 3). Canada, Japan, and Russia want to opt out to the Kyoto Protocol because China and India should also commit to limiting their rising GHG emissions.

The other achievement of the Doha talks on climate change is that nations through their delegates have agreed to develop a timetable that will foresee the inclusion of all nations in the fight against GHG emission. The negotiators agreed to work out on a timeframe that will be signed by all parties to the treaty in 2015. There are two areas to pursue in the ongoing negotiations: finding a way of combating climate change beyond 2020 and stepping up the climate ambitions before 2020. The negotiators have proposed that they hold at least two talks in 2013, 2014, and 2015 under the name Durban Platform. This name was adopted after the initial talks to push for the new international deal from 2020 kicked off in Durban.

The final agreement reached in the Doha talks is with respect to the escalating losses incurred by developing countries from the activities of the developed countries. The developing nations experience rising sea levels, acidification of the ocean waters, and the effects of floods. The negotiators planned to set up a negotiations mechanism to solve the loss and damage problem needs of the developing nations. This is despite the challenge posed by the US as it is opposed new deals seeking to add funds to the $100 billion kitty for the poor nations. The difficulties experienced by the negotiators in a bid to find amicable measures to the eminent problem of global climate change are deafening. There are many interests to put into consideration. Nonetheless, the benefits of the talks are more sustainable as propositions reached are intended at cutting the amount of GHG emission into the atmosphere.                

The negotiators on behalf of the governments need to extend the talks to administrators, conservationists, and land managers as the potential strategic partners in the resolution of problems facing climate change. This is because “Public-private partnerships that encourage economically viable conservation on private land provide an opportunity to focus on solutions,” (Pejchar and Press 444). One of the issues identified in this paper is the manner in which the problems of climate change affect the communities across the globe. It is, therefore, fundamental to use economics and ecology as an avenue for developing solutions to restore natural capital. Pejchar and Press observe “Scientists and economists can help landowners make informed choices by answering the following question: what are the economic/ecological tradeoffs of various land use alternatives?” (445).

Gutrich, Donovan, Finucane and Focht agree that, “lack of trust undercuts useful application of scientific input” (206). This is a wake-up call to the stakeholders involved in developing effective conservancy strategies that scientists ought to work alongside the other stakeholders towards consensus building. Lack of trust among stakeholders will make them demand longer deliberating procedures for assurance that their interests would be taken into account. “In Hawaii, social scientists can direct research towards benefits capture from watershed management and indicate disparities among stakeholders that may undercut long-term management efforts,” (Gutrich et al. 207).

CONCLUSION

The effect of depleting ozone layer is the main cause of the changing climatic conditions. The fundamental cause of global warming is the depletion of the ozone layer. As this paper has identified, the most comprehensive way of curbing the effects the depleting ozone layer remains cutting down of GHG emissions. Results that are more apprehensive will be reached at by holding climate talks like the recent Doha talks. There may be other avenues for addressing the issue like the discussed Geoengineering concept, but the emerging concerns ought to be addressed first. The negotiators cannot sit back and wait for the advances on the science of developing the ozone layer.

The challenge facing the artificial filing of the depleted layer of the ozone with oxygen through Geoengineering faces an uncertain future. This is because the scientists are yet to address the issues raised by those opposing the concept. This paper advocates for the ongoing climate talks as the most sustainable way of resolving the debacle. In fact, the Geoengineering procedures and other future scientific concepts will add value if nations can agree to cut down GHG emission into the stratosphere.     

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