From the past 20 years, environmental sustainability has a major influence on urban planning. The practices and adaptations to reduce the harmful impacts on the environment and to sustainably use natural resources are known as Environmental sustainability. Proper usage of water and energy, waste management and reduction, and emissions of greenhouse gases are included in the sustainability strategies. The main motive of environmental sustainability is to focus on the needs of future generations. It is a way to meet the needs of the present without compromising the future. Nowadays environmental sustainability refers to the proper balance of ecological and environmental concerns maintaining the economic and social aspects of the population.
According to a report by the Fourth Assessment on Climate Change, it is seen that the average temperature of the air and ocean is increasing without a doubt. This rising temperature is resulting in widespread snow and ice melting and an increase in the water levels of the sea. The enhancement in the temperature is mainly caused by the emission of gases like methane and carbon dioxide.
Due to this drastic climate change, many countries around the world have been accepting policies to adapt and mitigate environmental sustainability. The policies are designed to reduce the harmful damages due to climate change and help mankind to cope with the leftover effects. Some of the adverse effects of climate change are extreme natural calamities like bushfires, flooding, and cyclones, heat waves, and many infectious diseases.
Impacts of Climate Change
The increase in the average temperature across the world harms the biological and mental system of human beings. Let us have a close look at all the negative impacts of climate change. They are as follows.
- Droughts leading to wildfires which in turn will destroy all the crop cultivation
- Melting of ice in the South and North Poles
- Water levels of the ocean will increase due to the unbelievable melting of snow that will cause flooding and will erode the costs
- Due to unhygienic conditions, many epidemic diseases will spread taking innumerable lives
- Thawing and warming of the Permafrost
- Retreats of the glaciers in the poles
- Unnatural death of fauna and flora in the marine as well as terrestrial ecosystem
How Environmental Sustainability and climate change are related?
There is a major relation of environmental sustainability and climate change. In fact, it can also be said as it is directly proportional to each other. However, the below table will clearly show you the undeniable relation between environmental sustainability and climate change. They are:
|Sustainability Strategies||Climatic benefits||Health Benefits|
|Decrease combustion of fossil fuels||Pollution-free and cleaner air||Low cardio and respiratory diseases|
|Improvement in the Mass transit and public transportation systems|
|Increased consumption of vegetables and fruit in place of animals||Reduction in the ecological footprints|
|Early warning facilities for natural calamities and disease outbreaks||Minimization and prevention of infrastructure, health, and environmental damage||Reduces the number of casualties and helps in better control of the diseases|
|Acceptance of rural economies by improving different programs||Minimization and prevention of the degradation of the land||Strong economic capital and excellent effects on the mental health|
Effects on Health Due to Climate Change
People get highly affected due to the change in the climate. Health effects due to climate change include stroke, heart attack, asthma, and post-traumatic stress. Moreover, old people and children are more vulnerable to extreme climate events. Other harmful effects are different types of respiratory illness, lung and heart diseases, foodborne infections, mosquito-transmitted diseases, and mental health troubles.
Some Facts about Climate change
Have a look at are some of the facts about the environment and climate change and they are:
- According to the report by Garnaut Review, it is seen that the year 2010 is the warmest in Australia since the record began. It was also predicted that the temperature will increase soon.
- Regional change in climate variability will manifest in unseasonal events like heavy rainfall and floods, tropical cyclones, bushfires, heatwaves, and droughts.
- The sea level is expected to rise from 0.5 to 1-meter height by the year 2100. This will result in increased exposure to erosion, storm surges, and infrastructure damage in the coastal areas.
- One of the most harmful effects of climate change is the Heat Island. In this effect, the heavily built-up cities will experience a temperature of one degree warmer than the surrounding areas.
Some Policies for Environmental sustainability to mitigate Climate change
Some of the most famous Environmentally Sustainable strategies that European countries have adopted and are introduced by the EU include:
- Increase in the use of renewable energies like biomass, solar, and wind
- Reduction of the emissions from the landfills
- Decreasing the amount of emission of carbon dioxide from new cars
- Introduction of abatement measures in the manufacturing sectors
- Enhanced energy efficiency in the industries, buildings and household appliances
However, drastic change in the climate is becoming more and more evident as each passing day. Right from the change in the pattern of the weather, deforestation to reduced availability of the water and melting of icecaps, there are plenty of examples of climate change around us. Government authorities of several countries are embracing numerous environmentally sustainable strategies and policies to reduce the negative effects on the climate and not only the government, but we as each individual should also be careful to protect our environment.