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Biodiversity & Environment

New Pledges at CoP26 Summit

  • 03 Nov 2021
  • 6 min read

Why in News

Recently, leaders at the CoP26 global climate conference in Glasgow have pledged to stop deforestation by the end of the decade and slash emissions of methane to help slow climate change.

Key Points

  • Methane Pledge:
    • The European Union (EU) and the US have launched a landmark pledge to slash emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas methane, a commitment that could prevent 0.2 degrees Celsius of global warming.
    • The alliance's members will seek to lower global emissions of methane - the second-largest contributor to climate change after carbon dioxide - by 30% below 2020 levels by 2030.
    • Besides the EU and the US, more than 103 countries have signed up so far, including major methane emitters like Nigeria and Pakistan.
      • The Global Methane Pledge (US), first announced in September 2021, now covers emissions from two-thirds of the global economy.
      • China, Russia and India - have not signed up, while Australia has said it will not back the pledge.

Methane: A Concern

  • Methane is more short-lived in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide but 80 times more potent in warming the earth.
  • Humanity has also boosted the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by hacking away at the forests that absorb roughly 30% of carbon dioxide emissions, according to the nonprofit World Resources Institute.
  • Human sources of methane include landfills, oil and natural gas systems, agricultural activities, coal mining, wastewater treatment, and certain industrial processes.
  • Deforestation Pledge:
    • More than 100 national leaders pledged to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by the end of the decade, underpinned by USD 19 billion in public and private funds to invest in protecting and restoring forests.
      • In 2020, the world lost 258,000 sq km of forest — an area larger than the United Kingdom, according to WRI’s Global Forest Watch.
    • The agreement vastly expands a commitment made by 40 countries as part of the 2014 New York Declaration of Forests, and promises more resources.
  • Call for Climate Finance:
  • Infrastructure for Resilient Island States:
    • India launched this initiative as a part of the CDRI that would focus on building capacity, having pilot projects, especially in small island developing states.
    • Small Island Developing States or SIDS face the biggest threat from climate change, India’s space agency ISRO will build a special data window for them to provide them timely information about cyclones, coral-reef monitoring, coast-line monitoring etc. through satellite.
  • One Sun One World One Grid Group (OSOWOG) Launched:
    • It is an initiative by India and the United Kingdom to tap solar energy and have it travel seamlessly across borders.
    • It includes a group of governments called the Green Grids Initiative (GGI) - One Sun One World One Grid group.
      • The aim of GGI is to help achieve the pace and scale of reforms to infrastructure and market structures needed to underpin the global energy transition.
    • It has the potential to be a modern engineering marvel, and a catalyst for greatly expanding renewable electricity generation, and effectively mitigating climate change in the next decade.
    • According to the ISA’s concept note on OSOWOG, the global solar grid will be implemented in three phases.
      • In the first phase, the ‘Indian Grid’ will interconnect with the Middle East, South Asia and Southeast Asia grids to share solar and other renewable energy resources for meeting electricity needs, including during peak demand.
      • It will then be interconnected with the African power pools in the second phase.
      • The third phase would cover global interconnection of the power transmission grid to achieve the OSOWOG's vision.

Source: TH

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