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Sustainable Global Economic Development 101: Enhancement for Sustainable Globalism

Foreword


This series of articles provides a detailed explanation of sustainable global economic development, issues that arise, ways of addressing these complex problems, and benefits for nature, humanity, and the world economy. The series of articles emphasize the essence of making global finance and the economy more sustainable and reveal the steps to achieve these goals. The importance of the series is that the aspects of the topic described in the articles concern everyone, and each reader can understand what factors, decisions, technologies, and ideas affect sustainable global economic development.


The Sustainable Global Economic Development 101 series consists of six articles:



Globalism has become an important topic for discussion, particularly regarding its connection with sustainability. Globalism can be defined as an ideology that advocates for the unrestricted movement of people, information, and goods across national borders, whereas globalization refers to the diffusion of technology, products, information, and jobs across different nations (Hasa, 2021). Sustainable globalism refers to a system of global interaction that promotes the economic, social, and environmental well-being of individuals, communities, and nations. Achieving sustainable globalism requires enhancement in various aspects of our daily lives, including governance, economic policies, environmental protection, and social responsibility. This article aims to explore the enhancement required for sustainable globalism through environmental protection.


Environmental Impact of Climate Change


Sustainable development surfaced with the admirable concept that individuals would prioritize advancement that enhances human well-being and social justice while also safeguarding the environment (Kotzé, Adelman, 2022). In most discussions on globalization that encompass ecological concerns, climate change is typically incorporated as one of several global environmental changes. These changes include the depletion of the ozone layer, biodiversity loss, oceanic pollution, and overfishing, as well as acid rain (Malone, 2001).

Chart 1: Statista (2021) How climate change is affecting world regions

The initial findings of the Sixth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicate that global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius could potentially be reached by 2030, with significant implications for extreme weather events. Scientific evidence has established a clear upward trend in weather extremes (see Chart 1) such as heatwaves, heavy precipitation, and drought in various regions across the world. Specifically, Western and Central Europe, Eastern Asia, Eastern Central Asia, and Western Central Asia have experienced simultaneous increases in all three weather extremes. Other regions in Europe and East Asia have observed a rise in two climate extremes, predominantly characterized by elevated temperatures and increased rainfall. However, Mediterranean Europe, along with Mediterranean Africa, has encountered an alarming combination of torrid heat and prolonged drought. Several regions have exhibited vulnerability to heatwaves and drought, namely Western North America, Northeast South America, Southern Australia, as well as West and Central Africa. Interestingly, only one region, Tropical Northern Australia, has experienced a decrease in extreme weather events. Climate change has resulted in reduced drought conditions in this area, although it has also led to an increase in hot temperatures and intense precipitation (Buchholz & Richter, 2021).


According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), January 2023 ranks as the seventh-warmest January on record since their data collection began 174 years ago. The global surface temperature (see Chart 2) during this period exceeded the 20th-century average by 1.57°F (0.87°C), with the latter standing at 53.6°F (12.0°C). Notably, January 2023 signifies the 47th consecutive January and the 527th following month where global temperatures, in at least nominal terms, have surpassed the 20th-century average (NCEI, 2023).


Chart 2: NOAA (2023) Land & Ocean Temperature Percentiles January 2023

Sustainable development aims to prioritize human well-being, social justice, and environmental protection. Climate change is an integral part of the broader discussion on globalization and its ecological impacts. The findings of the IPCC's Sixth Assessment Report highlight the potential for global warming to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030, leading to increased extreme weather events worldwide. Various regions have experienced simultaneous increases in heatwaves, heavy precipitation, and drought, while Mediterranean Europe and Africa face a concerning combination of extreme heat and prolonged drought. The NOAA's data reveals that January 2023 was the seventh-warmest on record, continuing a trend of above-average global temperatures. These trends emphasize the urgent need for comprehensive action to address climate change and its impact on extreme weather events.


Local Effects of Global Warming


Global climate change exhibits localized and differentiated sources and impacts. The accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is primarily attributed to the activities of wealthy industrialized nations, particularly when considering their historical contributions. These same nations are anticipated to face mild negative impacts resulting from global warming over the upcoming century (Malone, 2001).


According to scientific projections, failure to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions could lead to a substantial rise in sea levels, reaching up to 3.61 feet by the end of the century. This increase would primarily result from the melting of sea ice and glaciers, along with the expansion of warmer water. The consequences of such a scenario would be particularly devastating for low-lying regions, including island nations and densely populated coastal cities such as New York City and Mumbai. The impacts of climate change on precipitation patterns have already been observed, as exemplified by the deadly flooding that occurred in Pakistan in 2022. This catastrophic event, which affected up to a third of the country, was caused by a combination of torrential rains and the melting of glaciers and snow (Lindwall, 2022).


According to a report by the Consumer News Business Channel (CNBC), the devastating floods in Pakistan have resulted in a death toll exceeding 1,300 individuals, with nearly 1.2 million households being swept away. Additionally, vast destruction has occurred throughout the nation, affecting vital sectors such as agriculture, transportation infrastructure, education, healthcare, and connectivity, including roads, schools, hospitals, and bridges. The World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that the flood's impact extends to over 33 million individuals, constituting approximately 15% of Pakistan's total population. Among this affected population, around 6.4 million individuals find themselves in critical circumstances necessitating urgent humanitarian assistance (Somani, 2023).


Figure 1: Hannah Bloch, Peter DiCampo (2022) Pedestrians and vehicles navigate flooded roads. NPR.org

These shifts in precipitation can lead to unpredictable floods and prolonged droughts, posing significant risks to agricultural systems. A single severe drought or flood event has the potential to decimate entire crops or herds, as evidenced by the triple-digit heatwave in Kansas in June 2022, which resulted in the loss of thousands of cows. Maintaining healthy soil is crucial for successful crop production, as it provides adequate moisture, essential minerals, and a thriving ecosystem of organisms such as bugs, bacteria, fungi, and microbes. However, climate change, particularly the occurrence of extreme heatwaves and alterations in precipitation patterns, can degrade soil quality, posing further challenges to agricultural productivity (Lindwall, 2022).


In an article published by the BBC on August 30, 2022, the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, emphasized the heightened vulnerability of South Asian countries to the impacts of global warming. Guterres explicitly referred to these nations as a "climate crisis hotspot" (Somani, 2023) highlighting the concerning statistic that individuals residing in these regions face a 15-fold increased risk of mortality resulting from global warming-related emergencies. Recognizing the pressing need for action, Guterres issued a stern warning to the global community, emphasizing the urgency of curbing emissions and urging individuals to refrain from complacency, as he expressed his concern over the perilous trajectory towards the irreversible destruction of our planet due to the effects of global warming (Somani, 2023).


Global climate change presents localized and differentiated sources and impacts. Industrialized nations primarily contribute to greenhouse gas accumulation, while poorer industrializing nations face more severe consequences. Failure to mitigate emissions could substantially increase sea levels, endangering low-lying regions and coastal cities. The recent devastating floods in Pakistan have caused significant loss of life, widespread destruction, and critical humanitarian needs. These shifts in precipitation patterns pose risks to agricultural systems, with extreme events decimating crops and degrading soil quality. South Asian countries are particularly vulnerable to global warming, with a significantly increased risk of mortality from related emergencies. Urgent action is needed to curb emissions and prevent irreversible destruction caused by global warming.


The Interconnectedness of Global Challenges and the Environment


Environmental degradation, global heating, and other environmental issues threaten sustainability. Climate change poses a significant risk to global food security (see Figure 2), with adverse impacts on the four dimensions, including food availability, accessibility, stability of supply, and the ability of consumers to utilize it safely and nutritionally. The agriculture and food systems must undergo essential transformations to address the interrelated challenges of global food security and climate change (FAO, 2023).

Figure 2: Nuralam Hossain (2020) Challenges of climate change on food security

Food security on a global scale is anticipated to persist as a significant concern for at least the next half-century and beyond. Numerous regions have experienced a decline in crop yield, primarily attributed to diminishing investments in research and infrastructure, alongside the escalating issue of water scarcity. While agroecological methods can augment crop yields, a substantial improvement in food security within developing nations necessitates improved investment and policy reforms (Rosegrant & Cline, 2003).


The primary obstacle to achieving global food security lies in the need for continuous agricultural expansion that not only enhances crop productivity but also addresses the escalating food and nutritional requirements of a growing population. To accomplish the desired level of growth that alleviates poverty and mitigates the vulnerability arising from the impacts of climate change, it is imperative to focus on the development, deployment, and widespread adoption of efficient technologies. These technologies should possess attributes such as climate resilience, optimal resource utilization, and the cultivation of high-yielding varieties and hybrids (Singh et al, 2020).


Addressing the challenges of climate change is paramount in safeguarding global food security. The imperative to expand agricultural capabilities, alongside the escalating food and nutritional requirements driven by a rising population, underscores the necessity for collaborative endeavors toward adopting efficient technologies and enacting supportive policies. Significantly, investments in research, infrastructure, and water management assume critical roles in mitigating the decline in crop yields and ameliorating the detrimental impacts of climate change. Through proactive measures and the prioritization of sustainable agricultural practices, it becomes feasible to augment food security, alleviate poverty, and fortify resilience against the vulnerabilities associated with climate change.


Ways to Improve for Sustainable Globalism


Climate change poses one of the greatest challenges to the world. Given its global nature, an effective response demands a collective and coordinated effort at the international level. According to Afesorgbor & Demen (2018), globalization can bring many benefits to the environment. The utilization of cleaner and more energy-efficient production processes by multinational corporations is widely acknowledged in contrast to their local counterparts. Another advantage of globalization is the creation of public awareness of labor and environmental standards through international activities, such as fair trade and eco-labels. In addition to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) are another aspect of globalization that promotes environmentally sustainable policies. As countries aspire to join RTAs, they are obligated to adopt environmental cooperation agreements. Several countries, including those in the European Union and Canada, have implemented national policies mandating that environmental impact assessments must be conducted before entering into any trade agreement. As a result, any country entering into commercial agreements with these nations must also commit to environmental cooperation agreements (Afesorgbor & Demena, 2018).


To effectively meet the challenges of climate change, it is necessary to coordinate a variety of approaches that are specific to particular sectors, practices, and local conditions. To support its member countries in achieving food security under conditions of climate change, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has developed and promotes a unified approach called Climate-smart agriculture (CSA), which aims to develop the technical, policy, and investment conditions required for successful implementation. CSA recognizes the need to implement action in three interlinked pillars: sustainably increasing agricultural productivity and incomes, adapting and building resilience to climate change, and reducing or removing greenhouse gas emissions where possible. CSA assesses the location-specific potential benefits of agricultural technologies and practices for food security, adaptation, and mitigation to guide strategies. Additionally, CSA links climate finance with traditional sources of agricultural finance by identifying adaptation, means of measuring, reporting, and verifying their provision. Moreover, effective international governance is crucial in ensuring appropriate action in the sectors related to designing and implementing climate change responses (FAO, 2023).


Climate change is a significant global challenge that requires a coordinated response. Globalization brings benefits such as cleaner production processes and the promotion of labor and environmental standards. Regional Trade Agreements promote sustainable policies through environmental cooperation agreements. Effective measures for addressing climate change include sector-specific approaches like Climate-smart agriculture that focus on sustainable productivity, adaptation, and emissions reduction. Strengthening environmental protection measures, including monitoring, biodiversity promotion, and sustainable land, water, and waste management, is crucial. Concerted global efforts are necessary to tackle climate change while considering the advantages of globalization and implementing robust environmental protection measures.



Conclusion


Sustainable globalism embodies the interconnectedness of nations in the global economy and politics. It requires ongoing collaboration, cooperation, and policy evaluation to advance toward a sustainable future. Sustainable development prioritizes human well-being, social justice, and environmental protection, with climate change being a crucial part of the broader discourse on globalization and its ecological consequences. Addressing climate change necessitates a coordinated response, leveraging the benefits of globalization, such as cleaner production processes and improved labor and environmental standards. Regional Trade Agreements play a role in promoting sustainability through environmental cooperation. Sector-specific approaches like Climate-smart agriculture offer effective strategies for sustainable productivity, adaptation, and emissions reduction. Strengthening environmental protection measures, including monitoring, biodiversity conservation, and sustainable land, water, and waste management, is of utmost importance. Global collaboration is vital in facing climate change while embracing the advantages of globalization and implementing robust environmental safeguards. It is essential to measure progress toward sustainable globalism using Sustainable Development Goals. Governments must enhance their environmental protection measures to combat the threats posed by environmental degradation and climate change. Coordinated efforts across sectors and contexts are necessary to tackle these challenges effectively.


Bibliographic sources:


Afesorgbor, S. K., & Demena, B. A. (2018, April 10). Globalization may be better for the environment. The Conversation. Retrieved April 30, 2023, from https://theconversation.com/globalization-may-actually-be-better-for-the-environment-95406

Buchholz, K., & Richter, F. (2021, August 11). Infographic: How climate change is affecting world regions. Statista Infographics. https://www.statista.com/chart/25511/scientific-consensus-climate-change-patterns-world-regions/

FAO. (2023). Climate Change. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved April 30, 2023, from https://www.fao.org/sustainable-development-goals/overview/fao-and-the-2030-agenda-for-sustainable-development/climate-change/en/#:~:text=Key%20challenges,including%20food%20safety%20and%20nutrition.

Hasa. (2021, May 2). What is the difference between globalism and globalization? Pediaa.Com. Retrieved April 28, 2023, from https://pediaa.com/what-is-the-difference-between-globalism-and-globalization/

Kotzé, L. J., & Adelman, S. (2022, September 8). Environmental law and the unsustainability of Sustainable Development: A tale of disenchantment and hope - law and Critique. SpringerLink. Retrieved April 30, 2023, from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10978-022-09323-4

Lindwall, C. (2022, October 24). What are the effects of climate change? Effects of Climate Change - Impacts and Examples. https://www.nrdc.org/stories/what-are-effects-climate-change#weather

Malone, E. L. (2001). Hot topics: globalisations and climate change. Retrieved April 30, 2023, from https://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/bitstream/handle/1808/5192/STARV25N1-2A5.pdf;sequence=1

National Centers for Environmental Information. (2023). January 2023 Global Climate Report. National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/monitoring/monthly-report/global/202301


Rosegrant, M. W. & Cline, S. A. (2003). Global Food Security: Challenges and Policies. https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.1092958


Singh, S. P., Chintagunta, A. D., Agarwal, D. K., Kureel, R. S., & Kumar, S. P. J. (2019, October 6). Varietal replacement rate: Prospects and challenges for Global Food Security. Global Food Security. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2211912418301020


Somani, R. (2023). Global Warming in Pakistan and Its Impact on Public Health as Viewed Through a Health Equity Lens. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/27551938231154467

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