Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Climate change: A terrible record

WMO data shows that in the past year, carbon dioxide level rose at a faster rate than its average rise in the past decade

Next week when governments meet for another round of climate change negotiations in Warsaw, they will have one more sobering fact to consider. Data released by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) shows that in the past year, carbon dioxide level rose at a faster rate than its average rise in the past decade. Atmospheric increases in other heat-trapping gases such as methane and nitrous oxide have also broken previous records.

Every increase in the level of these gases makes arresting climate change harder. In the ominous words of WMO chief Michel Jarraud, “The laws of physics and chemistry are not negotiable."

One way to check these rises is to stop fuel subsidies in the transport sectors worldwide. This, in contrast with curbing fuel usage for generating energy, is a feasible step. For countries such as India, where these subsidies are also fiscally ruinous, curbing them makes a double sense—green and economic.

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