Study Material | Test Series
Drishti IAS
call1800-121-6260 / 011-47532596
Drishti The Vision Foundation
(A unit of VDK Eduventures Pvt. Ltd.)
Q. Ratification of Paris agreement: In the backdrop of ratification of Paris agreement by China and USA, discuss the agreement and ratification aspect in detail.
Sep 09, 2016 Related to : GS Paper-3

Ans :

Introduction-

The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. 

It was negotiated by representatives of 195 countries at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Paris and adopted by consensus in December 2015. It was opened for ratification by member countries on Earth Day in 2016. 

Key features of Paris agreement-

  • The Paris Agreement for the first time brings all nations into a common cause based on their historic, current and future responsibilities.

  • The main aim of agreement is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

  • The agreement aims to strengthen the ability to deal with the impacts of climate change.  The agreement will come into force once 55 countries representing at least 55 per cent of global emissions formally join it.

Ratification of Paris agreement-

  • More than 175 countries have signed historic Paris agreement, but to comply these needs to ratify the same through legislation. According to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon currently 26 countries have ratified the Paris agreement. 

  • The two biggest emitters USA and China, which together account for 38% global greenhouse gas emission are ratified Paris agreement recently. But to reach the target of 55% emission still 29 more countries should ratify the agreement.

  • India, which is estimated to have the third highest individual country emissions as of 2014, signed the Paris agreement, but ratification by Parliament has not yet done. 

Analysis-

  • Paris agreement is historic step towards safeguarding our environment by curbing the carbon emissions by member states. Ratification by China and USA, which together account for 38 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, provides much-needed momentum for the global compact to be in force beyond 2020.

  • For the USA this is a landmark departure from its long-held position of not accepting a binding treaty like the Kyoto Protocol, where emerging economies heavily reliant on fossil fuels have no firm commitments. 

  • The Paris Agreement addressed the above issue by stipulating voluntary but verifiable emissions reduction goals for all parties, within the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities that underpin the UN FCCC.

  • Similarly India is also committed to reduction in carbon emission. Government has announced that it has initiated the domestic process for ratifying the Paris Agreement.

  • India has outlined low-carbon pathways in its national plan submitted to UNFCC. It includes the scaling up of renewable energy and non-fossil fuel sources to 40 per cent of installed power production capacity by 2030 is predicated on technology transfer and the availability of Green Climate Fund resources etc.

  • Though India has committed to Paris agreement, but no contribution had been received from the Climate Fund of UNFCCC. Hence countries like USA should help to accelerate this process in the area of power generation, clean energy finance, technology, solar catalytic funding and help for power grid up gradation etc.

  • Similarly Government of India should do much more on domestic policy to achieve green and low energy intensive growth, such as taxing fossil fuels, managing emissions from waste better and making low-carbon buildings mandatory. 

Conclusion-

Due to severe changes in climate, we are witnessing issues like the planet heating up to record levels, sea levels rising and glaciers melting etc. Hence it is called as human beings are in race with time, we must address the issues of climate change. In this direction ratification of Paris agreement by China and USA are right step for better future. India is also initiated the process of ratification, but to address this issue more effectively central government must initiate a serious discussion with the States on the national imperatives.

 


Helpline Number : 87501 87501
To Subscribe Newsletter and Get Updates.