The blog of Satyam Roychowdhury
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A Giant Leap for City of Joy

Eleven cities from across the globe have been honoured with the best cities of 2016 award, and the matter of immense pride is, Kolkata is the only Indian city to have received the prestigious accolade.

Kolkata – with its quaint charm, bustling lanes and the large round electric fans slowly whirring inside trams that pass across somnolent houses with their green shuttered windows, has managed to surpass all other Indian cities to have been able to combat one of the biggest global issues of the present time.

I did some study on climate change after reading the news and it took me to the basics that I read in my student years. In the past two decades, a disturbing trend in the rainfall pattern has been unevenly distributed, very often with no rainfall for several weeks and then changing into sudden downpour towards the end of the Monsoon period. This phenomenon often leads to flooding in various low areas.

Changes to the earth's climate have a direct effect on the global hydrological cycle and hence on water. Changes in climate are thought to be responsible for increasing the extremes of flood and drought, both of which, together with other circumstances such as increasing populations and environmental degradation, tend to affect the poor, the greatest. It is now recognised that one of the most serious result of climate change, is global warming, largely due to man-made emission of greenhouse gasses (GHG) which include Carbon di-oxide, Methane and Chloro-Fluro Carbon.

The primary cause of climate change is the burning of fossil fuels, such as oil and coal, which emits greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, primarily carbon dioxide. Other human activities such as agriculture and deforestation also contribute to the proliferation of greenhouse gases that cause climate change.

The Earth's climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives.

Kolkata secured this award for its innovative programme with regard to solid waste management during the C40 Mayors Summit held in Mexico City.  C40 is a network of the world's megacities committed to addressing climate change. Created and led by cities, C40 is focused on tackling climate change and driving urban action that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks, while increasing the health, well-being and economic opportunities of urban citizens.

The accolade proves that the key role in Disaster Management played by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and the Kolkata Police has been incredible. Environmentalists in every part of the globe are trying to invent measures to combat the adverse effects of climate change. At this moment this truly is a giant leap towards development.