Solar Alliance to set up 1000 GW of solar energy by 2030

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

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Conference of Parties (COP)- 23, Paris Agreement, International Solar Alliance, Doha Amendments, Kyoto Protocol, GEF, GCF, BASIC group of countries

Mains level: This news card talks about the new target of ISA and also highlights some other agreements that were negotiated at COP-23 which is being held at Bonn


Context

  1. Three years ago, India had surprised many by announcing that it would develop 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar energy by the year 2022, scaling up its then-existing target by almost five times
  2. Now, the International Solar Alliance, a, has set its eyes on installing 1000 GW of solar energy by the year 2030

International Solar Alliance (ISA)

  1. A new intergovernmental body set up at India’s behest at the Paris climate change conference in 2015
  2. ISA has just been ratified by enough number of countries to make it operational
  3. It will become operational by December 6 this year
  4. France is a key partner in the ISA which is open for membership to 121 countries lying in the tropical regions
  5. So far, 44 countries have signed on to the alliance while 16 of them have also ratified it

The New target of ISA

  1. Last year at the launch of ISA in Gurgaon it aimed to install 1000 GW of solar energy but also stated that this goal required an investment of about 1200 billion euros.
  2. This will be one of the biggest global efforts to shift away from fossil fuels and move towards cleaner sources of energy

Other Agreements discussed in the conference

  1. An agreement on climate resilient agriculture to reduce non-CO2 emissions from it was signed
  2. There was a similar agreement on the issue of loss and damages but many of the demands of the developing countries, especially small island nations, were not accommodated
  3. The small island countries, most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, have been asking for a loss and damage mechanism through which they can seek financial help to compensate for the destruction caused by climate change-induced extreme weather events

Discussions over Pre-2020 actions

  1. Pre-2020 actions’ refer mainly to the obligations of the developed countries under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that has still three years to run.
  2. There was a fresh proposal to resolve the deadlock over the issue of pre-2020 actions.
  3. Though it still did not address-
  • The developing countries’ key demands of inclusion of pre-2020 actions in the official agenda of negotiations and;
  • Setting up of a timeline for the developed countries to ratify the Doha amendments of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

Meeting by BASIC

  1. India, China, Brazil and South Africa together are known as the BASIC group
  2. They held a meeting to review the progress made at the conference so far
  3. In a joint statement, they noted that developing countries had made much more efforts in tackling climate change than they were expected to
  4. BASIC countries’ actions represented far more ambitious efforts compared to their respective responsibilities and capabilities
  5. It also expressed its deepest concern over attempts by the developed countries to exclude some developing nations from accessing climate finance by applying new income criteria
  6. There have been suggestions that middle-income developing countries should not be eligible for accessing funds from Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Green Climate Fund (GCF), two existing financial institutions for climate finance
  7. The BASIC countries said such criteria were not compatible with the existing agreements and were tantamount to renegotiating the Paris Agreement

Back2basics

Global Environment Facility (GEF)

  1. The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems
  2. It is a  unique partnership of 18 agencies including United Nations agencies, multilateral development banks, national entities and international NGOs
  3. It is working with 183 countries to address the world’s most challenging environmental issues
  4. It acts as a financial mechanism for 5 major international environmental conventions:
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),
  • United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD),
  • Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs),
  • United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD),
  • Minamata Convention on Mercury
  1. The slogan of GEF is- Investing in Our Planet

Green Climate Facility (GCF)

  1. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was adopted as a financial mechanism of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at the end of 2011 in COP16 which was held at Cancun, Mexico
  2. It is intended to support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing country for combating climate change
  3. Its finances activities to both enable and support adaptation, mitigation (including REDD+), technology development and transfer (including CCS), capacity-building and the preparation of national reports
  4. The World Bank serves as the interim trustee of the GCF, and the fund functions under the guidance of and remain accountable to the UNFCCC Conference of Parties
  5. It is based in South Korea and governed by a Board of 24 members and initially supported by a Secretariat.
  6. NABARD has been accredited by Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board as one of the National Implementing Entity (NIE) for GCF in India

BASIC

  1. It is a bloc of four large newly industrialized countries– BrazilSouth AfricaIndia, and China, formed by an agreement in 2009
  2. This geopolitical alliance, initiated and led by China, then brokered the final Copenhagen Accord with the United States
  3. It demands that developed countries allow developing countries “equitable space for development” as well as providing them with finance, technology, and capacity-building support, based on their “historical responsibility for climate change”
Solar Energy – JNNSM, Solar Cities, Solar Pumps, etc.
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