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28th Conference of Parties To the UNFCCC

  • 13 Dec 2023
  • 11 min read

For Prelims: 28th Conference of Parties (COP28), United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Loss and Damage (L&D) Fund, Global Goal on Adaptation, Global Stocktake Draft, Paris Agreement

For Mains: Climate Change and its impact, Environmental Pollution & Degradation, 28th Conference of Parties (COP28)

Source: TH

Why in News?

Recently, the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

What are the Key Highlights of the COP28?

  • Loss and Damage (L&D) Fund:
    • COP28, member countries reached an agreement to operationalize the Loss and Damage (L&D) fund aimed at compensating countries grappling with climate change impacts.
    • All developing countries are eligible to apply, and every country is "invited" to contribute voluntarily.
      • A specific percentage is earmarked for Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States.
  • Global Stocktake Text:
    • The Global Stocktake (GST) is a periodic review mechanism established under the Paris Agreement in 2015.
    • The fifth iteration of the Global Stocktake (GST) text was released at COP28 and adopted with no objection.
      • The text proposes eight steps to keep the global temperature rise within the ambit of 1.5 degrees Celsius:
        • Tripling renewable energy capacity globally and doubling the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030;
        • Accelerating efforts towards the phase-down of unabated coal power;
        • Accelerating efforts globally towards net zero emissions energy systems, utilizing zero and low carbon fuels well before or by around mid-century;
        • Accelerating zero and low emissions technologies, including, inter alia, renewables, nuclear, abatement and removal technologies, including such as carbon capture and utilization and storage, and low carbon hydrogen production, to enhance efforts towards substitution of unabated fossil fuels in energy systems.
        • Transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner, accelerating action in this critical decade, so as to achieve net zero by 2050 in keeping with the science;
        • Accelerating and substantially reducing non-CO2 emissions, including, in particular, methane emissions globally by 2030;
        • Accelerating emissions reductions from road transport through a range of pathways, including development of infrastructure and rapid deployment of zero and low emission vehicles;
        • Phasing out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption and do not address energy poverty or just transitions, as soon as possible.
    • The fifth iteration text maintains continuity with COP26 in Glasgow, balancing global aspirations of countries like India with diverse energy needs.

    • Nearly 200 countries agreed to "transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems" at the COP28.

      • The agreement is the first time countries have made this pledge. The deal aims to signal to policymakers and investors that the world is committed to breaking away from fossil fuels.

    • Developing and poor countries are expressing dissatisfaction with the latest draft of the Global Stocktake (GST) at COP28, calling for significant changes.
    • Several countries, including India, are extremely opposed to any mandate to cut methane emissions, mainly because one of the major sources happens to be agriculture and livestock.

      • Cutting methane emissions could involve tweaking agricultural patterns which could be extremely sensitive in a country like India.

      • Possibly in deference to the concerns of such countries, the agreement does not mention any targets for methane emission cuts for the year 2030, although a group of about 100 countries had made a voluntary commitment, in Glasgow in 2021, to reduce their methane emissions by 30% by 2030.

        • This pledge is known as the Global Methane Pledge. However, India is not a part of the Global Methane Pledge.

    • Developing countries call on rich nations to achieve negative carbon emissions, not just reaching net zero by 2050. They emphasize principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR–RC) in combating climate change.
    • Developing countries argue that rich nations, having consumed over 80% of the global carbon budget, should allow developing nations their fair share of future emissions.
  • Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge:
    • The Pledge stipulates that signatories commit to work together to triple the world’s installed renewable energy generation capacity to at least 11,000 GW by 2030 and to collectively double the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements from around 2% to over 4% every year until 2030.
  • The Global Cooling Pledge for COP 28:
    • It includes 66 national government signatories committed to working together to reduce cooling-related emissions across all sectors by at least 68% globally relative to 2022 levels by 2050.
  • Climate Finance:
    • The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimates that wealthy nations owe developing countries USD 500 billion in 2025 under the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) for climate finance.
      • The NCQG was confirmed by developed countries under the Paris Agreement in 2015.
      • The goal is to set a new collective quantified goal before 2025. The goal will start from a floor of USD 100 billion per year.
      • This includes USD 250 billion for mitigation, USD 100 billion for adaptation, and USD 150 billion for loss and damage.
      • The figure is expected to increase to USD 1.55 trillion by 2030.
    • The current climate finance goal of USD 100 billion per year has not been met, and developing countries are facing debt distress.
    • Experts call for reform of the global financial architecture to address structural issues and promote sustainable development.
  • Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA):
    • The draft text on the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) was introduced. It was established under the Paris Agreement to enhance climate change adaptation by increasing awareness of and funding towards countries’ adaptation needs in the context of the 1.5/2°C goal of the Paris Agreement.
    • The draft text addresses critical issues:
      • Climate-Induced Water Scarcity Reduction.
      • Climate-resilient food and Agriculture Production.
      • Strengthening Resilience Against Climate-Related Health Impacts.
  • Declaration to Triple Nuclear Energy:
    • The declaration launched at COP28 aims to triple global nuclear energy capacity by 2050.
    • Endorsed by 22 national governments, the declaration calls for support from shareholders of international financial institutions. It encourages shareholders to advocate for the incorporation of nuclear energy in energy lending policies.
  • Powering Past Coal Alliance(PPCA):
    • PPCA is a coalition of national and sub-national governments, businesses and organizations working to advance the transition from unabated coal power generation to clean energy.
      • PPCA at COP28 welcomed new national and subnational governments, and called for cleaner energy alternatives.
  • Coal Transition Accelerator:
    • France, in collaboration with various countries and organizations, introduced the Coal Transition Accelerator.
      • Objectives include knowledge-sharing, policy design, and financial support to facilitate just transitions from coal to clean energy.
      • The initiative aims to leverage best practices and lessons learned for effective coal transition policies.
  • Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnership (CHAMP) for Climate Action:
    • A total of 65 national governments signed CHAMP commitments to enhance cooperation, where applicable and appropriate, with subnational governments in the planning, financing, implementation, and monitoring of climate strategies.
  • India Led Initiatives at COP28:
    • Global River Cities Alliance (GRCA):
      • It was launched at COP 28, led by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India.
      • The GRCA is a unique alliance covering 275+ global river-cities in 11 countries.
        • Partner countries include Egypt, Netherlands, Denmark, Ghana, Australia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Japan and river-cities of The Hague (Den Haag) from the Netherlands, Adelaide from Australia, and Szolnok of Hungary.
      • GRCA highlights India's role in sustainable river-centric development and climate resilience.
      • The GRCA platform will facilitate knowledge exchange, river-city twinning, and dissemination of best practices.
    • Green Credit Initiative:
      • India launched the Green Credit Initiative here at COP28, to create a participatory global platform for exchange of innovative environmental programs and instruments.
      • There are two main priorities of the initiative are water conservation and afforestation.
      • The main purpose of this initiative is to boost voluntary environmental activities like tree plantation, water conservation, sustainable agriculture, and waste management by incentivizing it for big corporations and private companies, bringing about a change in the climate issues faced by the country.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions


Q. Describe the major outcomes of the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). What are the commitments made by India in this conference? (2021)

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