Climate Change Negotiations – UNFCCC, COP, Other Conventions and Protocols

Govt approves submission of India’s second Biennial Update Report to UNFCCC


Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: UNFCCC Biennial Update Report

Mains level:  India’s commitment towards climate change agreements


  • The Cabinet has approved submission of India’s second Biennial Update Report (BUR) to the UNFCCC towards fulfillment of the reporting obligation under the convention.

Biennial Update Report (BUR)

  1. India had submitted its first BUR in 2016.
  2. As per the first report, the country had emitted 2,136.84 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gases in 2010.
  3. It said energy sector was the prime contributor to emissions and with 71 per cent of total emissions.

About the Report

  1. The submission of India’s second BUR would fulfil the obligation of India to furnish information regarding implementation of the convention, being a party.
  2. The BUR contains five major components:
  • National Circumstances
  • National Greenhouse Gas Inventory
  • Mitigation Actions, Finance, Technology and Capacity Building Needs and Support Received and
  • Domestic Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV)
  1. The BUR has been prepared based on a range of studies conducted at the national level.

2nd Biennial Update Report (BUR)

  1. This year, India emitted around 2.607 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent of GHGs in 2014, with the energy sector contributing over 70 per cent of the total.
  2. In 2014, a total of 26,07,488 Gigagram (Gg) CC-2 equivalent (around 2.607 billion tonnes of CC-2 equivalent) of GHGs were emitted from all activities (excluding LULUCF) in India.
  3. The net national GHG emissions after including LULUCF were 23,06,295 Gg COa equivalent at around 2.306 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

*(LULUCF stands for Land use, land-use change, and forestry)

Sectorwise Emissions

  1. Out of the total emissions, the energy sector accounted for 73 per cent, Industrial Processes and Product Use (IPPU) 8 per cent, agriculture 16 per cent and waste sector 3 per cent.
  2. About 12 per cent of emissions were offset by the carbon sink action of forest land, cropland and settlements.


India’s obligations to UNFCCC

  1. India is a Party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  2. The Convention, in accordance with its Article 4.1 and 12.1, enjoins upon all Parties, both developed country Parties and developing country Parties to furnish information, in the form of a National Communication regarding implementation of the Convention.
  3. The UNFCCC in COP-16 Cancun decided vide paragraph 60 (c) of decision 1 that developing countries, consistent with their capabilities and the level of support provided for reporting, should also submit biennial update reports .
  4. Decision 2 of COP17, in paragraph 41 (f) states that Biennial Update Reports shall be submitted every two years.
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