- GS-2: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation
COP26 Climate Conference
Context: The UK will host the COP 26 UN Climate Change Conference from October 31 to November 12.
- The event will see leaders from more than 190 countries, thousands of negotiators, researchers and citizens coming together to strengthen a global response to the threat of climate change.
- The conference comes months after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its assessment report on Earth’s climate, highlighting heat waves, droughts, extreme rainfall and sea-level rise in the coming decades.
What is COP26?
- The Conference of Parties (COP) comes under the United Nations Climate Change Framework Convention (UNFCCC) which was formed in 1994.
- 2021 marks the 26th Conference of Parties (thus the name COP26) and will be held in the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow.
- The UNFCCC was established to work towards “stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.”
- It laid out a list of responsibilities for the member states which included:
- Formulating measures to mitigate climate change
- Cooperating in preparing for adaptation to the impact of climate change
- Promoting education, training and public awareness related to climate change
- India hosted the eighth COP from October 23 to November 1, 2002 in New Delhi. The conference laid out seven measures including, ‘strengthening of technology transfer… in all relevant sectors, including energy, transport…and the promotion of technological advances through research and development…and the strengthening of institutions for sustainable development.’
- One of the most important conferences, COP21 took place in 2015, at Paris, France. Member countries agreed to work together to ‘limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.’
What are COP26 goals?
According to the UNFCCC, COP26 will work towards four goals:
- Secure global net-zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach
- Adapt to protect communities and natural habitats
- Mobilise finance: To deliver on our first two goals, developed countries must make good on their promise to mobilise at least $100bn in climate finance per year.
- Work together to deliver: Another important task at the COP26 is to ‘finalise the Paris Rulebook’. Leaders will work together to frame a list of detailed rules that will help fulfil the Paris Agreement.
what India could do to reach its targets?
- It is time for India to update its Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs. (NDCs detail the various efforts taken by each country to reduce the national emissions)
- Sector by sector plans are needed to bring about development. We need to decarbonise the electricity, transport sector and start looking at carbon per passenger mile.
- Aggressively figure out how to transition our coal sector
- India also needs to ramp up the legal and institutional framework of climate change
Connecting the dots: