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Biodiversity & Environment

Not on Track to Achieve Forest Goals

  • 12 Nov 2022
  • 6 min read

For Prelims: Paris Agreement, Forest, Kyoto protocol, Green House Gas, Conference of Parties, United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP 26), Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC)

For Mains: Paris Climate Agreement and its Impacts

Why in News?

According to a new report, the world is not on track to achieve forest goals of ending and reversing deforestation by 2030.

  • Ending deforestation is critical for a credible pathway to the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting warming by 1.5°C.

What are the Highlights of the Report?

  • Only 24% of the necessary commitments for emissions reductions have been made so far.
  • Forest-based actions can make an essential contribution to meeting the Paris Agreement’s ambition. It can provide nearly 27% of the solution to help avert climate catastrophe.
    • Forest-based solutions provide a crucial annual mitigation potential of around four gigatonnes by 2030.
    • Indigenous peoples and local communities play a key role in achieving these outcomes.
  • High-Forest-Low-Deforestation (HFLD) countries store 18% of tropical forest carbon worldwide and their access to sufficient climate finance must be rapidly improved.
    • But current forest climate finance mechanisms are not adequate for rewarding their historical conservation and resisting increasing pressures to deforest.

What are the Suggestions Given by the Report?

  • Existing commitments must be transformed into reality and new commitments must urgently be made to finance forests, or we are at extreme risk of missing the milestone.
    • Only half of these commitments have been realised through emissions reduction purchase agreements. Funding for these commitments has not yet been disbursed.
  • The countries must have financial aid to scale up their actions to develop and implement ambitious forest-based climate solutions.
  • The actions to protect, sustainably manage and restore forests can deliver cost-effective climate change mitigation. These actions can also reverse declines in biodiversity and enhance resilience to climate change.
  • Emission reduction must be achieved every year post-2025 for the 2030 goals to remain within reach.

What is the Paris Agreement?

  • About:
    • The Paris Agreement (also known as the Conference of Parties 21 or COP 21) was adopted in 2015.
    • It replaced the Kyoto Protocol which was an earlier agreement to deal with climate change.
    • It is a global treaty wherein some 200 countries agreed to cooperate to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) Emissions and rein in climate change.
      • It seeks to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industry levels.
  • Working:
    • The Paris Agreement works on a 5- year cycle of increasingly ambitious climate action carried out by countries. In 2020, countries had submitted their plans for climate action known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
    • Long-Term Strategies:
      • Long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies (LT-LEDS) provide the long-term horizon for the NDCs. Unlike NDCs, they are not mandatory.
  • Tracking Progress:
    • With the Paris Agreement, countries established an Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF). Under the ETF, starting in 2024, countries will report transparently on actions taken and progress in climate change mitigation, adaptation measures and support provided or received.
      • It also provides for international procedures for the review of the submitted reports.
      • The information gathered through the ETF will feed into the Global stocktake which will assess the collective progress towards the long-term climate goals.

Way Forward

  • To achieve this long-term temperature goal, countries should aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to achieve a climate-neutral world by mid-century.
  • There is a need for credible short-term commitments, with a clear pathway to medium-term decarbonization, that takes into account the multiple challenges states face, such as air pollution, and development might well be the more defensible choice for some.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q. With reference to the Agreement at the UNFCCC Meeting in Paris in 2015, which of the following statements is/are correct? (2016)

  1. The Agreement was signed by all the member countries of the UN and it will go into effect in 2017.
  2. The Agreement aims to limit greenhouse gas emissions so that the rise in average global temperature by the end of this century does not exceed 2ºC or even 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels.
  3. Developed countries acknowledged their historical responsibility in global warming and committed to donate $1000 billion a year from 2020 to help developing countries to cope with climate change.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 3 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (b)

Source: DTE

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