Agra: The Society for Preservation of Healthy Environment and Ecology and Heritage of Agra (SPHEEHA) and the Centre for Environment Communication (CEC) joined hands to organise a "Climate Connect Festival 2017" here on Saturday.
The festival held at Dayalbagh Educational Institute addressed various climate-related concerns. "Being held on the occasion of Ozone Day, the SPHEEHA-CEC Climate Connect Festival is aimed to provide a platform for discussing climate-related emerging concerns and to know of possible solutions from the subject experts that will help the participants understand the issues better and also how to cope with it," Shabd Mishra, one of the organisers, told IANS. Dayalbagh Educational Institute's Director Professor Prem Kumar Kalra said: "The goal of (Dayalbagh Educational) Institute is to become a top teaching-cum-research institution through an excellent education system that will produce world class citizens for tomorrow, who are as conscious to their rights and responsibilities towards the environment..."
"We are happy to host this festival as the issues it talks about are aligned with our ideals of promoting a lifestyle which is in consonance with nature," he added.
Speaking about the relevance of the festival in Agra, Madhu Bhatnagar, a member of SPHEEHA and convener of the event, said: "Dayalbagh event suggests the way forward to achieve environmental sustainability while adapting to/mitigating climate change."
"Dayalbagh is a microcosm of what must be done to preserve and improve our environment -- the university and the residences are lit up by solar lighting, children and adults equally participate in eco-farming initiatives, fuel-operated cars are selectively allowed - only for the elderly or infirm, only battery operated vehicles ply, etc," said Bhatnagar.
"Is this not the solution to climate change that has been staring at us for decades," she threw a poser. Alka Tomar, the CEC President, said the festival's focus was primarily on youth.
"India has more than 50 per cent of its population below the age of 25 and more than 65 per cent below 35. With such a large youth segment, it becomes very important to give our youth a platform such as this," she said.
Tomar added: "This will give them a chance to share their viewpoints, engage in progressive discussions on climate change and clear their doubts with the subject experts present. It is in moulding youth attitudes towards environmental sustainability that we can hope for and shape a healthy future for our planet Earth."
According to experts, analysis of the past emissions of greenhouse gases and the burning of fossil fuels show that even if humans suddenly stopped burning fossil fuels, the earth will continue to heat up about two more degrees by 2100.
If emissions continue for 15 more years, which is more likely than a sudden stop, the earth's global temperature could rise as much as 3 degrees.
It was in this context that nations committed to a 1.5-degrees Celsius increase by the end of the century at the 2016 Paris Agreement, an expert pointed out.
The agreement set a target for keeping temperature increase to 1.5 degrees or lower by the close of century.