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Virtual Ministerial on Climate Action

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    16th Jul, 2020

Recently the fourth edition of the Virtual Ministerial on Climate Action was held to advance discussions on the full implementation of the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and to demonstrate continued political commitment to global climate action.

Context

Recently the fourth edition of the Virtual Ministerial on Climate Action was held to advance discussions on the full implementation of the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and to demonstrate continued political commitment to global climate action.

About

  • The meeting was co-chaired by the European Union, China, and Canada.
  • It witnessed countries exchanging views on how countries are aligning economic recovery plans with the Paris Agreement and the critical enabling conditions to ensure continued climate action.
  • India highlighted its steps taken for combating climate change.
  • India also called upon developed country parties, once again, to do their part as envisaged under UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement, for extending financial and technological support to developing countries.
    • The promise of USD 1 trillion by 2020 has not been fulfilled so far by the developed countries.
    • India hopes that the promised amount is mobilized and delivered in the remaining 5 months of 2020, for further strengthening climate actions in developing countries.

OP 25 to the UNFCCC

  • Held in December 2019 in Madrid, Spain.
  • The key deliverables were two-fold:
    • Rules under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which deals with carbon trading or carbon markets.
    • The creation of a financial mechanism dedicated to loss and damage.
  • CoP 25 failed to deliver on these requirements. Reasons for this were:
    • No Consensus on Rules on carbon market.
    • Lack of Clarity on Loss and Damage.         
  • The COP 26 is to be held in Glasgow in 2020 to address the gaps that were undermined at COP 25 and also harmed the reputation of COP 25.

Steps taken by India for combating Climate Change

  • The Indian government has provided 80 million LPG connections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in rural areas, providing them with clean cooking fuel and a healthy environment.
  • More than 360 million LED bulbs have been distributed under Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) scheme, which has led to an energy saving of about 47 billion units of electricity per year and reduction of 38 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
  • India has also leapfrogged from Bharat Stage-IV (BS-IV) to Bharat Stage-VI (BS-VI) emission norms by April 1, 2020, which was earlier to be adopted by 2024.
  • India had levied a coal cess of INR 400/- as part of one of the most explicit green initiatives & this is now subsumed under Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • Under Smart Cities Mission, first-of-its-kind initiative – Climate-Smart Cities Assessment Framework 2019 has been launched which intends to provide a clear roadmap for cities and urban India towards combating climate change through the adoption of both mitigation and adaptation measures.

Achievements of India in combating Climate Change

  • India has achieved a reduction of 21% in the emission intensity of its GDP between 2005 and 2014, thereby achieving its pre-2020 voluntary target.
  • India’s renewable energy installed capacity has increased by 226% in the last 5 years and stands more than 87 Gigawatt.
    • The share of non-fossil sources in installed capacity of electricity generation increased from 30.5% in March 2015 to7% in May 2020.
    • The Indian government has also further announced the aspirational target of increasing our renewable energy capacity to 450 GW.
  • India’s total forest and tree cover is 8, 07,276 sq. km. which is 24.56% of the total geographical area of the country.b

Paris Climate Agreement – COP 21

  • It aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • It was opened for signature on 22 April 2016 – Earth Day – at UN Headquarters in New York. It entered into force on 4 November 2016. To this date, 189 Parties have ratified of 197 Parties to the Convention.

India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC)

  • India has pledged to improve the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 below 2005 levels.
  • It has also pledged to increase the share of non-fossil fuels-based electricity to 40 per cent by 2030.
  • It has agreed to enhance its forest cover which will absorb 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2, the main gas responsible for global warming) by 2030.
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