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

India’s Commitment for Paris Agreement

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Paris Agreement

Mains level : Progress of global climate action

This week marks the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, where formidable climate diplomacy ushered 196 rich and poor countries into a legally binding treaty seeking to hold global heating below 2°C at this century’s end.

Try this PYQ first, then head with the news:

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

  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 the greenhouse gas emissions so that the rise in average global temperature by the end of this century does not exceed 20C or even 1.50C above pre-industrial levels.
  3.    Developed countries acknowledged their historical responsibility in global warming and committed to donate S 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

The Paris Agreement

  • The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016.
  • Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.
  • To achieve this long-term temperature goal, countries aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to achieve a climate-neutral world by mid-century.
  • It is a landmark process because, for the first time, a binding agreement brings all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects.

How does it function?

  • Implementation of the Paris Agreement requires economic and social transformation, based on the best available science.
  • The Agreement works on a 5- year cycle of increasingly ambitious climate action carried out by countries.
  • By 2020, countries submit their plans for climate action known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs).

NDCs

  • In their NDCs, countries communicate actions they will take to reduce their Greenhouse Gas emissions in order to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • Countries also communicate in the NDCs actions they will take to build resilience to adapt to the impacts of rising temperatures.

Long-Term Strategies

  • To better frame the efforts towards the long-term goal, the Paris Agreement invites countries to formulate and submit by 2020 long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies (LT-LEDS).
  • LT-LEDS provide the long-term horizon to the NDCs. Unlike NDCs, they are not mandatory.
  • Nevertheless, they place the NDCs into the context of countries’ long-term planning and development priorities, providing a vision and direction for future development.

India’s commitment

In 2015, ahead of the UN significant climate conference in Paris, India announced three major voluntary commitments called the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC):

  1. Improving the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33–35% by 2030 over 2005 levels
  2. Increasing the share of non-fossil fuels-based electricity to 40% by 2030 and
  3. Enhancing its forest cover, thereby absorbing 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide

A success (?)

  • The Environment Minister said that we have achieved 21% of its emissions intensity reduction target as a proportion of its GDP in line with its pledge to a 33-35% reduction by 2030.
  • India was the only major G20 country that was on track towards keeping to its nationally determined commitments to halt runaway global warming.
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