Flash floods in Europe



UNPRECEDENTED rains and floods have wreaked havoc in Western Europe especially Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

The death toll has reportedly surpassed 150 while rescue efforts are still underway to reach hundreds of unaccounted people.

Humanity demands sharing the pain and grief of affected countries and people yet it is also time for the mankind to go for course correction to avert such disasters because of climate change.

Greater responsibility rests with these rich countries that are major contributors to green house gas emissions. Germany is Europe’s biggest economy and a key emitter of planet-warming gases.

Extreme downpours like the ones that occurred in Europe are among the most visible and damaging signs that climate is changing as a result of warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

Studies have found that such events are now occurring more frequently and scientists point to a simple reason: A warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, which creates extreme rainfall.

Experts say such disasters could become more common in future and what lies ahead will be even worse.

Only if we decisively take up the fight against climate change will we be able to limit extreme weather conditions we are now experiencing.

The developed world must fast track efforts to fulfil the commitments it made to mitigate the threat of climate change.

The Paris Agreement provides a roadmap to the nations to limit global warming well below 2, preferably 1.5 degree Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

The United Nations also recently launched a welcome initiative of Decade on Eco-system Restoration to step up efforts to prevent, halt and reverse degradation of areas such as grasslands, forests, oceans and mountains, essential to all life on Earth.

While developed countries must show their adherence to the UN initiative, it is also important that developing countries should also be provided with funds and assisted to improve their environment and build necessary infrastructure for adaptability.

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