COP25 Climate Summit | 03 Dec 2019

Why in News

The 25th edition of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) or COP25 has begun from December 2 in Madrid (Spain).

  • Originally, the Summit was scheduled to be held at Chile (South America) but violent mass movement across the country made Chile reluctant from hosting the event.
    • The location of this conference is rotated every year in different regions of the world. This year it was the turn of South America to host the event.

Agenda for COP25

  • The prime objective of the conference is to complete the rule-book to the 2015 Paris Agreement that will become effective in 2020 to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol (comes to an end in 2020).
    • The issues like the creation of new carbon markets, emission reduction targets, country’s individual targets, etc. remained unresolved during COP24 at Katowice (Poland) 2019. Thus the rulebook under the Paris Agreement could not be finalized.

Kyoto Protocol

  • The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the UNFCCC, which commits its parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets.
  • The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan in 1997 and entered into force in 2005.
  • It recognized that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity.
  • The detailed rules for the implementation of the Protocol were adopted at COP-7 in Marrakesh, in 2001 and are referred to as the Marrakesh Accords.
  • Kyoto Protocol Phase-1 (2005-12) gave the target of cutting down emissions by 5%.
    • Phase- 2 (2013-20) gave the target of reducing emissions by at least 18% by the industrialized countries.
  • The summit will also discuss the functioning of international emissions trading systems, compensation for poor countries to deal with rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change.
  • It will consider the Annual Emissions Gap Report, produced by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and a series of reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
    • Both the reports summarise that the goal of keeping average temperatures within 1.5°C from pre-industrial times is “on the brink of becoming impossible.'' As the overall emissions are still increasing worldwide.
  • The processes and methods of reporting information about climate change would be fixed during the summit. Specifically, the developing countries will try to ensure that there are greater appreciation and recognition of the issue of loss and damage due to climate change.
    • There is a demand to institute a mechanism to compensate countries that suffer major losses due to climate change-induced events like cyclones or floods.
  • It puts into efforts for committing to a long-term action plan to fight climate change.
    • So far only 71 countries, most of them small emitters, have committed themselves to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

India’s Agenda

  • India is unlikely to announce any enhanced targets during the summit.
  • India’s current efforts are already much more compared to even rich and developed countries. Thus, India will reiterate its stand for ”Common but Differentiated Responsibilities”.
    • Developed countries are major contributors to climate change and they are doing proportionately less, especially when it comes to providing finance and technology to the less developed world.

Carbon Market

  • A carbon market allows countries, or industries, to earn carbon credits for emission reductions they make in excess of what is required of them.
  • These credits can be traded to the highest bidder in exchange for money.
  • The buyers of carbon credits can show the emission reductions as their own and use them to meet their own emission reduction targets.
  • A carbon market already existed under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol but several countries walked out of the Kyoto Protocol and thus the demand for carbon credits had waned.
  • As a result, developing countries like India, China and Brazil had accumulated huge amounts of carbon credits. These credits are now in danger of getting redundant.

Source: TH