Who is behind climate change?

Who is behind climate change?

Usually, this question is posed: Who is responsible for climate change? And it’s followed by: Why should we bear the mistakes of countries causing this pollution that affects our planet? Although this question is legitimate, there’s no practical benefit in discussing it at this time. The priority now is for all of us to work together to address this dilemma instead of blaming each other. When there’s a fire in your house, you put out the fire first before asking who caused it. If we want to be fair with developed countries, which were the main contributors to harmful emissions at the beginning of their industrial revolution, undoubtedly, we all benefited from their products that significantly changed our ways of living. Hence, the reality dictates that we are all partners in this problem to varying degrees, and there’s no party exempt from this major responsibility.

This is indicated by the American scientist, and the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economics, Elinor Ostrom, in an interview about climate change where she says: “Part of my frustration with international negotiations is that we have engaged in huge battles over who caused climate change primarily and who is responsible for fixing it. We haven’t developed a comprehensive corrective path yet.” What distinguishes Ostrom’s approach in addressing the environmental problem is that it’s based on her economic theory, which advocates for employing natural resources through the community itself. Based on this, she calls on individuals and communities to take practical steps instead of waiting for the results of international negotiations. She has great confidence in the ability of communities to tackle the environmental problem and thus create the necessary regulations and mechanisms to maintain an eco-friendly life.

Although this approach deals with the climate problem from a different perspective, one that addresses the issue comprehensively and doesn’t wait for governments to take action, it never denies the importance of supporting international treaties. Ostrom herself emphasizes that environmental efforts should interact at multiple levels through what she calls a polycentric governance system. This system organizes small units and links them based on rules understood by individuals, communities, and countries, ultimately benefiting everyone. For example, when an individual chooses to walk long distances instead of driving a car, they’re exercising for their own benefit and at the same time reducing harmful emissions from the car. Thus, the individual achieves health benefits and also contributes small benefits to the world.

Ostrom’s approach restores confidence in the ability of individuals to create radical change, as she refutes the prevailing notion that collectively used natural resources will be excessively exploited and destroyed in the long term. This is done through field studies on how people manage natural resources in small local communities. Many positive examples around the world have shown that communities can preserve their natural resources, as seen, for example, in Nepal where farmers have been sharing scarce water resources for centuries. Therefore, as individuals or communities, we can preserve our common natural resources like air and water and significantly contribute to halting climate change. Hence, it might be worthwhile now to correct the question posed here about who is behind climate change to what have you done to stop this change?

Note: This article has been automatically translated.

Source: Alwatan News

Dr. Abdulla Alabbasi, Director of the Energy and Environment Program

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