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Virtual Climate Action Ministerial

  • 08 Jul 2020
  • 6 min read

Why in News

Recently, the 4th edition of the virtual Ministerial on Climate Action was organised to advance discussions on implementation of the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Key Points

  • The Ministerial:
    • It was co-chaired by European Union, China and Canada.
    • The participating countries exchanged their views on how they are aligning economic recovery plans amid Covid-19, with the Paris Agreement.
    • India highlighted that developed country parties have not fulfilled their promise for extending financial and technological support to developing countries as envisaged under UNFCCC and its Paris Agreement.
      • India hopes that in the remaining 5 months of 2020, the promised amount will be mobilized and delivered, for further strengthening climate actions in developing countries.
      • The developed countries had promised to provide USD 1 trillion by 2020.
  • India’s Efforts in Combating Climate Change:
    • India has provided 80 million LPG connections under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in rural areas, providing the people with clean cooking fuel and a healthy environment.
    • It has distributed more than 360 million LED bulbs under the UJALA scheme, which has led to energy saving of about 47 billion units of electricity per year and reduction of 38 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
    • India has also shifted from Bharat Stage-IV (BS-IV) to Bharat Stage-VI (BS-VI) emission norms from 1st April 2020 which was earlier to be adopted by 2024.
    • It had levied a coal cess as part of one of the most explicit green initiatives.
    • Under Smart Cities Mission, Climate Smart Cities Assessment Framework 2019 has been launched which intends to provide a clear roadmap for cities and urban India towards combating climate change through adoption of both mitigation and adaptation measures.
  • Achievements of India in Combating Climate Change:
    • India has achieved a reduction of 21% in emission intensity of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) between 2005 and 2014, thereby on its way to achieving its voluntary target under its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC).
      • India had pledged to cut emission intensity of its GDP by 33-35% by 2030 below 2005 levels.
    • Its renewable energy installed capacity has increased by 226% in the last 5 years and stands more than 87 gigawatts (GW).
      • India has a target of installing 175 GW of renewable power capacity by 2022 under its INDC.
    • The share of non-fossil sources in installed capacity of electricity generation increased from 30.5% in March 2015 to 37.7% in May 2020.
      • It has further announced the aspirational target of increasing its renewable energy capacity to 450 GW.
      • India has pledged to increase the share of non-fossil fuels-based electricity to 40% by 2030 under INDC.
    • India’s total forest and tree cover is 8,07,276 sq. km. which is 24.56% of the total geographical area of the country.
      • India has agreed to enhance its forest cover which will absorb 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 by 2030.

Paris Agreement- COP 21

  • Conference of Parties (COP) 21, also known as the Paris Climate Conference is a landmark environmental accord that was adopted in 2015 to address climate change and its negative impacts.
  • It aims to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to limit the global temperature increase in this century to well below 2°C above pre industrial levels, while pursuing means to limit the increase to 1.5°C.
  • Countries have promised to try to bring global emissions down from peak levels as soon as possible.
    • However, the USA has withdrawn from the agreement.
  • The deal includes loss and damage, a mechanism for addressing the financial losses vulnerable countries face from climate impacts such as extreme weather.
  • Raising money to help developing countries adapt to climate change and transition to clean energy was an important point in the agreement.
    • This part of the deal has been made non-legally binding on developed countries.
  • Before the conference started, more than 180 countries had submitted pledges to cut their carbon emissions (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs). The INDCs were recognized under the agreement, but are not legally binding.

Way Forward

  • India has to make a huge effort to achieve its target of 175 GW of renewable power capacity by 2022. It is way behind its target.
  • The funding commitment made by developed countries has become more important due to the economic challenge posed by Covid-19 pandemic.

Source: PIB

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