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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The world that we live in today is evolving at an unprecedentedly fast pace with innovations taking place in almost every corner of the globe. The creation of new technologies and industries to meet the demands of a developing world is a pressing priority but it often comes at a cost. While it may be easier to assume that this cost is borne by the inhabitants who avail the benefits of this technological revolution, it is imperative to probe deeper into how this cost is essentially a sacrifice that our future generations will be compelled to make.

Rising water levels, melting glaciers, declining forests and wildlife along with an exorbitant increase in carbon dioxide levels in the air are no longer just minor short-term consequences of the imprudent use of nature but have become glaring newspaper headlines almost imploring the readers to take action. A leading cause of the increasing negative environmental impact is the production of energy which is responsible for close to 87% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. This is a thought-provoking fact in itself but it becomes all the more shocking as these emissions are largely caused by high average income countries not because lower income facilitates lesser environmental impact, but because of the lack of equitable energy available to the latter.

Increasing carbon emissions caused by non – renewable sources of energy coupled with their unbalanced distribution to countries is one of the biggest challenges of today’s day and age, the impact of which is irreversible to an extent that our future generations may lose resources which are rightfully theirs solely to satisfy the needs of the current population. Zero-carbon energy, commonly referred to as clean energy, is an alternative which can not only enable a judicious use of resources for energy production but also ensure that energy demands of even the remotest parts of the world are met through affordable, reliable and sustainable modern energy.

With natural resources such as sunlight and wind being available to a majority of areas and a demand for electricity to be decentralised, clean energy is a viable solution to deconcentrate energy production and consumption. Through this approach, it can also potentially end the cycle of energy poverty which largely affects lower income countries. As these natural resources do not warrant additional fuel costs or require transportation, they offer greater price stability. Being an industry driven by labour, the use of clean energy also promises large-scale job creation.

Protecting the resources of today is the only way forward to ensure their availability for posterity. Switching to clean energy is a pathbreaking effort that we can make today to not let our future generations suffer. In the words of environmentalist Gloria Reuben, “A transition to clean energy is about making an investment in our future”. A sustainable tomorrow is dependent on the actions of today and the choice of a better, cleaner, greener, future is in our hands.

Vaishnavi Kalia

Delhi South '22

Campus Correspondent, Delhi South.
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