Climate change is the most prevalent issue our world faces, as it poses the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century. Global warming has long since been the center of attention as our planet has rapidly warmed up from the North Pole to the South Pole, drastically affecting all regions of the world. According to a report, the globe’s surface temperature has increased by 0.9 degrees Celsius, resulting in detrimental consequences for all living species.

Due to the climate problem, water scarcity, and poor farming methods, the UN’s desertification conference president warned that the food supply may be compromised before temperatures rise by the 1.5C objective.

Global agriculture is in danger due to rising temperatures, heat waves, and severe droughts, endangering food security in many areas. They emphasized the need to address these issues simultaneously because desertification and drought enhance the likelihood of floods and storms by causing climate change, biodiversity loss, and other environmental problems.

One of the leading causes of climate change is the burning of fossil fuels, which emits toxic chemicals into the atmosphere and further intensifies global warming. The fossil fuel industry, responsible for producing energy by extracting and burning carbon-rich deposits, supplies 80% of non-renewable energy to the world.

According to IPCC, 89% of carbon dioxide- the most widespread and harmful greenhouse gas in the atmosphere- results from fossil fuel combustion. Moreover, the three types of fossil fuels used for energy generation- coal, oil, and natural gas are responsible for the increase in average global temperatures. Solely oil releases large amounts of carbon when burned, i.e., approximately 1/3 of the world’s total carbon emissions.

In the quest for sustainable development and for attaining successful climate change mitigation techniques, the influence of oil lobbying businesses on environmental regulations is a significant concern. Oil lobbying corporations, which are significant players in the industry of fossil fuels, frequently put their immediate financial interests ahead of the sustainability of the environment over the long run, which hinders international endeavors to counter the effects of climate change effectively and, therefore, further degrading the environment.

Oil refineries worldwide constitute a significant cause of air, water, and soil pollution.

Due to their high energy and water consumption, production of large amounts of wastewater, air emissions of dangerous gases, and generation of difficult-to-treat solid waste, oil refineries are substantial sources of pollution. Oil firms can take proactive measures to improve their environmental effect; however, many oil corporations still need to adopt pollution prevention strategies. According to a combined investigation by the Guardian and Influence Map, the oil and gas firms are spending significant money to undermine climate laws while promoting their dedication to a low-carbon future.

These businesses run international social media PR efforts to highlight their commitment to sustainability, but they also run focused local campaigns to block stronger regulations on fossil fuel extraction. According to the research, these companies engage in direct advertising and “astroturfing”- lobbying through alleged grassroots “community” organizations that, on the other hand, receive funding from the fossil fuel business. For instance, as per a report, Chevron, BP, and ExxonMobil were directly lobbying against sensible climate policies, increasingly relying on social media to discredit important climate laws. Along with Chevron, BP paid $13 million to block the implementation of a carbon price in Washington State, $1 million of which went toward social media advertisements.

Therefore, concerning all the adverse effects of climate change and the potential threats it poses to our climate system, we need to bring forward effective techniques of adaptability and mitigation. We can notice that governments, international institutes, leading activists, and organizations across the globe have been religiously working on methods to reduce the detrimental effects of climate change and are trying their level best to raise awareness about the causes that further aggravate the climate crises.

The public still needs to be more aware of all the underlying realities that have been ‘causing and worsening’ the climate crisis- which is the exploitation of the environment by the fossil fuel industry.

For this reason, we must unravel the greenwashing techniques used under the deceit of adopting futuristic sustainable practices by the fossil fuel industry.

Effect of the Global North on the Global South

ExxonMobil plans to release 21 million metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. This emission is higher than Kenya’s annual CO2 emissions. This statistic can help us understand the severity of the Global North’s capitalistic and profit-oriented endeavors’ disproportionate impact on the Global South. According to the World Inequality Database, the most developed nations, generally known as the “Global North,” account for approximately half of all emissions produced since the Industrial Revolution.

The aggregate carbon footprint of the world’s poorest countries is 100 times smaller than that of the Global North. Approximately 48% of the world’s CO2 emissions in 2019 came from the top 10% of emitters (771 million people), whereas 12% came from the bottom 50% (3.8 billion people).  Therefore, it is even more crucial for those from the world’s developing nations, for whom the brutality and injustice of environmental collapse are particularly severe, to understand what is happening.

A prime example is Pakistan, one of the “10 most vulnerable countries” to climate change because of its geographic location, arid environment, and demographic profile. Yet, it generates less than 1% of global GHG emissions. It has a per capita resource consumption so low that it would take a world population of 16 billion people to exceed the Earth’s carrying capacity.

In conclusion, the biggest challenge our world population faces in the 21st century is climate change. All regions across the globe have been badly affected by climate change in the form of extreme weather conditions, global warming, rising sea levels, and severe flooding, and has threatened food security, water security, as well as energy security of people- especially of those living in the global south.

The principal reason for such deteriorating effects on the environment has been identified to be the combustion of fossil fuels by oil conglomerates.

For this reason, multiple laws and international treaties have been established to regulate the fossil industry. However, the oil industry reflects a pattern of contradiction in their so-called dedicated actions to achieve sustainable solutions for the future. Despite their declarations of commitment to climate measures like the Paris Agreement, they have been involved in greenwashing techniques, deceptive advertisement, acts of supporting campaigns that deny climate change, opposing emission reduction initiatives, and so on.

The ability of these corporations to influence public opinion and public policy emphasizes the necessity of having strict regulatory frameworks to hold them responsible for their part in the development of the climate crisis. Moreover, I believe that the energy sector’s relentless pursuit of huge profits is not only limited to immediate financial gains but also has far-reaching implications in the form of energy wars. Therefore, thorough research is required to fully understand the complex web of interactions between energy businesses and governing bodies of developed countries fuelling global conflicts by exploiting developing countries rich in energy resources.


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