IASbaba’s Daily Current Affairs – 14th December, 2015
General Studies 1:
Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, cyclone etc., changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.
General Studies 2:
Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
Development processes and the development industry- the role of NGOs, SHGs, various groups and associations, donors, charities, institutional and other stakeholders;
Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests; Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests; Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate.
General Studies 3:
Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
A new framework for collective global action against climate change has appeared and it sets an over-arching target of keeping emissions in control so that global temperature rise remains below 2 degree Celsius
Let us have a look at the important developments related to it.
Principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities” (CBDR) stays embedded in the document
CBDR is essential to enforce accountability for the historical emissions that have already led to an increase of 1 degree Celsius in global temperature
Emission Reduction Action
Developed as well as developing countries have to take emission reduction
Developing countries can determine the nature and quantum of these nationally though; Should be able to provide a country-driven plan for adaptation and seek finance from the developed world
Based upon the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) that were submitted by countries prior to the Paris summit
Countries can decide if they want to enhance their INDCs- if the total effort by all the countries is found to be inadequate in the “global stocktake” that will begin in 2023 and, will be held every five years thereafter
INDCs submitted by the US and EU amount to just one-fifth of their fair share
INDCs of the majority of developing countries, including India, either exceed or broadly meet their fair share commitments.
Carbon budget available with the world is—
29,00 billion tonnes (bt) of which 1,900 bt has already been emitted
US and European Union (EU) together account for close to 40% of all the emissions between 1850 and 2011
India’s contribution is a measly 2.8%
Dilutes the principles of equity adopted by the Kyoto protocol in 1997
Does away with the legally binding emission targets for the developed countries that was agreed upon in Kyoto
No accountability for the past
Does not enforce any legally binding commitments from developed countries in the future as countries will set their own targets and no penalties will be imposed for failing to meet those
Developed nations cannot be filed for liability or compensation for loss and damage incurred by poorer nations as a result of historical emissions
Developed countries will continue to help developing countries through climate finance reaching an amount of $100 billion annually by 2020
Prior to 2025, a new climate finance goal will be adopted upwards of this amount
OECD report: Total climate finance had risen to US $52 billion in 2013 and US $62 billion in 2014, thus giving the impression that developed nations were well on their way to meeting the original US $100 billion by 2020 promise.
India’s Union Ministry of Finance: Argued that the OECD report had major methodological issues of double-counting, mislabelling and misreporting, the paper indicated that the only credible estimate was for US $2.2 billion in gross climate finance disbursements
(Has scarcely been made available to developing countries and there is no clause in the Paris agreement that may alter the course)
It is necessary to “establish more credible, accurate, and verifiable numbers on the true size of the mobilisation of climate change finance commitments and flows from developed to developing countries”. 5-yr Assessment:
Every five years there shall be an (To arrive at “net zero emissions” between 2050 and 2100)
Assessment of how the emission reduction actions of all countries collectively are faring against the goal of keeping temperatures under control
Assess the kind and volume of funds being provided by developed countries
Assessment Reports— Help countries to decide if and how they want to enhance their nationally determined contributions for the next phase of the agreement Technology Mechanism:
To help countries cooperate and foster collaborative research in future in developing and deploying cleaner technologies and fuel sources over time
A global market-based mechanism to reduce emissions be set up to allow a global carbon-trade
Countries get chances to take credit for emission reductions against their own targets by paying for it in countries where emission reduction is cheaper to achieve
Transparency Mechanism: Uniform system in place to report on methods being adopted by countries:
to fight climate change
to achieve its nationally determined contributions
Article 4 mandates that each country should, in five-year cycles, prepare, communicate and maintain an NDC.
Promises as a whole
To keep the rise of global temperature far below two degrees Celsius by the turn of the century
To ensure global emissions peak as soon as possible, with developed countries doing so before others
To ensure net greenhouse gas emissions become zero in the second half this century
Differentiation between developed and developing world while reducing emissions
No forcible ratcheting up of emission targets periodically
India does not have to compulsorily provide climate finance
No peaking of emissions before other countries
Removing reference to decarbonisation of economies against fixed deadlines
The Paris pact not entirely centred on mitigation, but it lays substantial stress on other elements such as finance, adaptation, loss & damage
Transparency mechanism brings equivalence between developed and developing countries through the ‘back door’. Global financial flows for thermal power in India will shrink with time
Climate justice has been used just as a word.
Carbon budget concept fails to find place
No reference to reducing cost of IPRs
Important Areas to be focussed upon:
Cleaner thermal power generation,
Promoting renewable energy,
Reducing emissions from transport and waste, and
Creating climate resilient infrastructure
Building low-carbon cities,
Using smarter electric and mass public transit,
Investing in buildings efficiency and a digital, decentralised electric grid