The VONG Movement hosted a series of impactful events addressing the pressing issue of the climate crisis from 2 March, 2022 to 4 May, 2022. These events brought together experts and enthusiasts to discuss crucial topics such as renewable energy, electric vehicles, climate justice, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In a world grappling with environmental challenges, these events assumed paramount importance. The climate crisis, accelerated by industrialization and fossil fuel use, was dissected by our experts, providing invaluable insights into its significance in our contemporary context.
IMPORTANCE: These events hold immense significance as they provide a platform for informed discussions, insights, and solutions to combat the climate crisis. They underscored the urgency of a collaborative action and the potential to mould a sustainable future.
- Renewable Energy: Commencing on 2 March, 2022, the first forum spotted the presence of Rashi Gupta, fondly known as the ‘Batterywali of India‘. The speaker addressed the efficiency of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy. She emphasised the need to harness India’s abundant sunlight and highlighted the value of sustainability. The discussion revolved around how renewable energy positively affects a country’s growth, offering cleaner technology and cost savings. Gupta encouraged the VONGsters to develop skills and take individual initiatives to make the environment more sustainable and green.
- Electric Vehicles (EVs): Aayushi, Vice President of moEVing, explored the feasibility of converting non-electric vehicles to electric ones. The convenience of recharging EVs was discussed, highlighting the need for widespread adoption. The panellists discussed the environmental impact of electric vehicles, comparing localised pollution, pollution related to the grid, and zero tailpipe emissions. It was highlighted that electric vehicles are about 30% less polluting compared to diesel and petrol vehicles from a manufacturing perspective.
- Air Pollution: Hosted by Parinati Gaur, the panel featuring Himadri, Aman, Areeba, Prayang, and Nikita examined the main causes of air pollution and its severe impact. They emphasised industrialization, exhaust emissions, and the burning of fossil fuels as major contributors to this environmental concern. The panellists engaged in a thoughtful examination of the severity of air pollution, considering its effects on public health, ecosystems, and the overall quality of life. Attendees actively discussed and evaluated the gravity of the issue.
- VONG SDG CAFE – Climate Action: Aditi Muradia, a climate science and policy student, challenged India’s stance on climate justice and questioned the effectiveness of the Paris Agreement. Participants debated that while India has made strides in mitigation efforts, there’s limited focus on adaptation to the ongoing impacts of climate change. It was pointed out that the document outlining India’s climate goals needs to be updated to reflect the current climate reality. Dr. Pradeep Rath discussed the shrinking of green spaces due to rapid urbanisation.
Climate Change: The final event of the series featured the guest speaker, Geetha Joby. The speaker emphasised the profound societal and economic impacts of climate change and air pollution, underscoring the urgency of addressing these issues. The event shed light on the USA’s significant contribution to maximum cumulative emissions due to industrialization, stressing the historical context.
Aman, a VONGle highlighted the need to incorporate sustainable practices in daily life, stating, "Sustainability begins with individual actions." Agriculture's role in environmental degradation was discussed, acknowledging India's status as an agro-based economy. “Agriculture itself is not the sole culprit, mitigation efforts should target other sources of emissions,” noted Adititi, a key speaker. Shockingly, statistics revealed that the richest 1% nations are responsible for double the carbon emissions of the poorest 50%, highlighting the disparities in carbon footprint. The series saw active participation from attendees, with insightful contributions from the audience, supplementing the discussions. The major takeaways from these events go beyond their immediate impact. They highlight a visible prospect of creating a healthy and sustainable future by mitigating air pollution, transitioning to electric vehicles, and reevaluating our commitment to climate justice.