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Waste to Wealth Special

Effects on the environment: Waste results in accumulation of greenhouse gases (GHGs) primarily Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4) and Nitrous Oxide (N2O) which are responsible for global warming and climate change. CO2 is released into the atmosphere by the burning of solid waste. CH4 is emitted from the decomposition of organic waste in landfills. NO2 is emitted during combustion of solid waste. Rising global temperatures are expected to raise sea levels and change precipitation and other local climate conditions. Scientists predict that there is likely to be an overall trend towards increased precipitation and evaporation, more intense rainstorms and drier soil. Changing regional climates are expected to alter forests, crop yields and water supplies.

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Technology and Innovation for Sustainability

Since the first major international conference was convened to address issues concerning the environmental and sustainable development in Stockholm, Sweden, 1972, titled, ‘United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, the world has come a long way in understanding climate change and its consequences, global consumption patterns and the bio-capacity of its natural resources etc. The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, a report which was undertaken for the Government of the United Kingdom, argued that the cost of transitioning to a low carbon economy would be much less than the costs and risks of the impact of unmitigated climate change if high technologies and practices were to continue to dominate systems for energy provision (Stern, 2007).

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Waste Management and Climate Change Special

The global ideological shift and the economic crises that we have recently faced combined together have almost side lined the pertinent topic of climate change. Commitments made by various nations for the Paris Climate Agreement fall short. The world political scenario is dominated by governments who only believe in incremental goals. At the policy level, financial pressures usually take precedence over environmental concerns. However, what is not being realised is that planned and more futuristic investments can address both issues for a more cost and resource effective approach.

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