Following the Kyoto protocol in 2005, Europe is among other countries of the world who have agreed to cut down on the emission of their green house gases to reduce the effects of global warming. The US still has no definite confirmation it will do the same, despite being one of the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases alongside China and India. Global warming is a major contributor to the worlds looming water shortage in addition to many other factors, including corrupt authorities in charge of water supply and pollution of the world’s water resources.
While the US government waits for more commitment from the other two major polluters before it takes any major action, environmental groups have started taking things into their own hands to make people aware of the problem. Events will be taking place all over the US, Europe and in many other countries around the globe on March 22nd, to make people aware of the world water crisis, and how, they can help to start making a difference.
In Europe, businesses have focused on being energy efficient with The European Union Emission Trading Scheme introduced in 2005 to encourage industries cut their CO2 emissions by capping large CO2 emitters. The European Environment Agency is one of the most prominent European agencies actively involved in making people aware of environmental issues with emphasis on public participation to bring about the essential changes. It will work alongside the Kyoto Agreement targets to give annual reports, updates and the policies of its members with the next update planned for 2010 in which Europe has to reduce its carbon emissions by 8%.
Its partner organization WISE (Water Information Systems for Europe) provides data on the quality of the coastal waters and groundwater to monitor the amount of waste and pollution levels. There is an interactive map of all the European countries with up to date information on the standard of their surrounding waters. The goal is set for 2015 for reduction of pollution to the water systems with conventions like the Paris Convention and the Helsinki Convention amongst others to reduce marine pollution.
Another European organization is Blue Gold, partner to the organization European Water Partnership. This is an interactive forum for European governmental agencies, Non-governmental organisations, members of the public and other private institutions to exchange views and knowledge of water issues and find solutions, whether financial or otherwise.
Europe has shown a commitment to environmental issues by active programmes to try to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions while the US has still a lot more to offer. With no progress, yet on production of any bio gradable fuel, a ray of hope lies in the possible discussion of reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions in the near future. This is again dependable on how beneficial the economics of such a move will augur for the US.
It is time for US to face up to the extent of the water crisis and realise how important it is to get involved and start making a difference. It is only through global participation that our planet will have a chance to survive this new challenge that awaits around the corner.