AT COP27, MOVE THE NEEDLE ON CLIMATE ACTION
- GS Paper 3: Climate Change
- Prelims exam: Commitments , Conferences
- Mains exam: What should be the key focus area at CoP 27?
- India and other developing economies are justifiably worried about the damage to growth from COVID-19, Russia’s war in Ukraine, and the global economy’s downturn.
- But these troubles pale in comparison with the climate catastrophe already resulting from the current trajectory of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, whose effects hit developing economies and the poor hardest.
- Rich countries are still unwilling to compensate for past excesses by expanding the massive financing that developing economies need for climate action.
- Many plans to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 are insufficient to help keep temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius as envisaged in the Paris Agreement.
- Rich countries, shown that they can mobilize vast resources to deal with global emergencies. As they did so in the global financial crisis of 2008–09 and the $15 trillion (by one estimate) in 2020, done brilliantly by major economies to fight COVID-19.
- When it comes to climate change, rich countries are failing dismal in meeting the UN goal of at least $100 billion annually in climate finance for developing countries.
Proceed the Year to Net Zero
- India’s dependence on fossil fuels is very high and has set a target date of 2070 for Net Zero.
- China is the world leader in renewable energy, but with coal and gas accounting for over 70% of energy production, the country continues to finance large-scale fossil fuel-based infrastructure.
- India and China strangely weakened the target of COP26 from “phase-out” of coal power to “phase-down”.
- Electric power has made progress in adopting renewable energy in its energy mix, but household heating and cooling requires a far larger switch than fossil fuels.
COP27, taking place in Sharm El-Sheikh, is an opportunity to move the needle. UNDP calls on all governments, private sector, civil society, and communities to champion and invest in responding to this global emergency, and in supporting countries to realize their pledges on climate action.
Pledge at COP 26
International Efforts to Combat Climate Change
|1980 – First International Climate Program
TheWorld Climate Research Programme (WCRP) was established in 1980 by theWorld Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva and the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) in Paris. It gave a critical boost to climate science, particularly in relation to the numerical simulation of atmospheric and oceanic phenomena.
|November 1988 – Creation of the Intergovernmental panel on climate change (Ipcc)
Starting in the 1970s, climate science matured, building on advances in numerical modeling and satellite imaging. But to understand the causes, challenges and consequences of climate change, scientific knowledge needed to be shared beyond borders. That is why the United Nations (U.N.) set up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in November 1988. The IPCC’s role is to prepare and publish reports that provide a clear and up-to-date picture of the current state of scientific knowledge relating to climate change.
|June 1992 – Rio Earth Summit
The international community kicked off the fight against climate change in June 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the second Earth Summit. Following the conference, 166 countries signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which acknowledges humanity’s role in global warming . Every year, a Conference of the Parties (COP ) brings together all of the countries that have ratified the Convention, which totaled 197 as of 2021.
|December 1997 – Kyoto Protocol
This international emissions reduction Agreement was adopted on December 11, 1997, at the third Conference of the Parties, in Kyoto, Japan, but did not come into effect until February 20051. The goal was to reduce emissions of six greenhouse gases by 5.2% versus 1990 levels at some point between 2008 and 2012. Various initiatives were accordingly introduced to curb emissions by the most developed countries.
December 2009 – Copenhagen Climate Change Conference
The parties to the UNFCCC met in Copenhagen in December 2009 to forge a new agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol. Although often considered a failure, the Copenhagen conference can be credited with officially defining the maximum acceptable increase in global temperature as 2°C above pre-industrial levels. However, the participants were unable to reach a binding agreement on greenhouse gas (ghg) emissions reduction targets to keep global warming below this threshold.
December 2015 – Paris Agreement
The COP 21 summit in Paris ended in a compromise that, for the first time in history, every country in the world agreed to. The resulting Paris Agreement sets the international community the goal of limiting global warming to “well below” 2°C in this century. It acknowledges the need for developed countries to provide financial support and technology transfers to developing countries. The accord further stresses the importance of the role played not only by states, but also by cities, regions, businesses and individuals in making this transition.
Causes of Climate Change
Impacts of Climate Change
India’s Effort to Counter Climate Change
According to a report by WION, if no proper steps were taken, climate change would take almost 80 million lives in 80 years. India has been instrumental in controlling and managing climate change, affecting the entire world. Being the second most populous country, India is at the tipping point of global warming-induced natural disasters.
International solar Alliance (ISA)
P A solar power development project in collaboration with France. Launched in 2015, it’s an alliance of the “sunshine countries” with an objective of efficient utilization of solar energy. The alliance was formed with the vision of reducing the dependence on non renewable sources of energy like fossil fuels.
One sun, one world, one grid project along with the United Kingdom
P OSOWOG is based on the vision of building and scaling inter-regional energy grids to share solar energy across the globe. It can be the solution to most of our global problems in the energy sector.
Swachh Bharat mission
P The all-encompassing programme emphasized cleaning India and its cities and villages by providing toilets for every household.
COP26 Glasgow summit:
- To take India’s non-fossil fuel energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030.
- To bring down the carbon intensity of India by more than 45% by 2030.
- India will achieve the target of net zero carbon emissions by 2070.
National Action Plan on Climate Change
India as a country has been identifying measures that promote development objectives while also yielding co-benefits for addressing climate change effectively since 2008. The National Action Plan on Climate Change or NAPCC for the same was formally launched on 30th June, 2008 for the same. India has been relying on this action plan since then to bring about a change in the situation. NAPCC has eight core national missions that focus on promoting understanding of climate change, adaptation and mitigation, energy efficiency and natural resource conservation.
The eight missions are:
- National Solar Mission
- National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency
- National Mission on Sustainable Habitat
- National Water Mission
- National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem
- National Mission for a Green India
- National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture
- National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change
- COP27 should call for wider use of markets to help shift the global economy on a low-carbon path.
- The summit could support a radical change in countries adopting carbon pricing, for example, through a significant carbon tax on the source of pollution.
- Need for all countries to end fossil fuel subsidies.
- Climate projects can be widely scaled up by multilateral development banks such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, all of which have strong climate-action mandates.