Climate change poses risk to sustainable development: expert

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Climate change poses risk to sustainable development: expert Dr R K Pachauri speaking on sustainable development at a session organised by Doha Bank yesterday.
12:30 AM
9
June
2014

Doha Bank hosted a knowledge sharing session on “Sustainable Development in the Global Arena” yesterday with Dr R K Pachauri as key resource speaker.

Doha Bank chief executive officer Dr R Seetharaman introduced Pachauri, who is chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Seetharaman said the dimensions focused by sustainable development include social foundation, low carbon economy, environmental sustainability, and gender equality.

Some of the key challenges in sustainable development include climate change, energy security, and increase in natural and man-made disasters, Seetharaman added.

“Corporate social responsibility (CSR) contributes to sustainable development in the areas such as economic growth, social development, and environmental consideration. The corporate competitiveness needs to be integrated with social
development,” he stressed.

According to Doha Bank CEO, CSR leads to outcomes such as increased customer loyalty, willingness to pay premium prices, and lower reputational risks in times of crisis.

Seetharaman noted that there is an “inevitable link” between business and society.

He enumerated several key measures banks should focus on:

l Encourage development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies;

l Support precautionary approach to environmental
challenges;

l Believe that an increasingly green stance is one of the key determinants of future
sustainability; and

l Strive to incorporate these values in their everyday operations by encouraging the use of environmentally efficient business practices as well as overall products and services that reduce the impact on the environment.

“This should be a fundamental aspect of the corporate social responsibility charter,” he stressed.

As part of its CSR programme, Seetharaman said Doha Bank advocates “green banking,” which includes paperless banking, Internet banking, SMS banking, phone banking, ATM banking, as well as online channels such as Doha Souq, e-Remittances, and online bill payments.

He stressed that green banking is “one of the core business philosophies that would support sustainability into the future.”

During the session, Pachauri spoke defined sustainable development and gave insights on human influence on climate system, which include changes such as the rise in sea levels and ocean temperature, diminished amount of snow and ice, and rising concentrations of
greenhouse gases.

He also highlighted the trends in greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). The total anthropogenic GHG emissions were the highest in human history from 2000 to 2010.

Globally, economic and population growth continue to be the most important drivers of increases in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustions. These are expected to continue to drive emissions growth without additional efforts to reduce GHG emissions. Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in the climate system.

Pachauri also provided insight on extreme events during and by the end of 21st century.

“It is very likely that the length, frequency, and/or intensity of warm spells or heat waves will increase over most land areas. It is likely that the frequency of heavy precipitation or the proportion of total rainfall from heavy falls will increase over many areas of the globe,”
Pachauri warned.

He also explained the future risks of climate change in areas such as human security, livelihoods and human health, and the implications on sustainable development.

Pachauri highlighted on climate change adaptation and the impact of mitigation on economic growth. He noted that there are strategies that can help manage disaster risk today and also help improve people’s
livelihood and well-being.

“Effective risk management and adaptation are tailored to local and regional needs and circumstances. Governing a transition towards an effective climate response and sustainable development pathway is a challenge involving rethinking our relation to nature,” Pachauri stressed.



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