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Focus: GS-III Environment and Ecology

Why in news?

  • The United Nations, United Kingdom and France co-hosted the Climate Ambition Summit 2020, held virtually, which marked the fifth year of adoption of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
  • The UN General Secretary highlighted that the international community might be able to reach the carbon neutrality which is set out in the Paris Agreement only if global emission will be reduced by 45% by 2030 compared with the levels of 2010

Details of Climate Ambition Summit

  • The Summit has the objective to set out new and ambitious commitments under the three pillars of the Paris Agreement that are mitigation, adaptation and finance commitments.
  • The Summit will provide a meaningful platform for businesses, cities and other non-state actors who are rallying together and collaborating to support governments and accelerate the systemic change required to reduce emissions and build resilience.

Highlights of the Indian PM’s address at the summit

  • India has reduced its carbon emission intensity by 21% over 2005 levels.
  • India’s renewable energy capacity is the 4th largest in the world and it will reach 175 GigaWatts in 2022.
  • India’s solar capacity has grown from 2.63 Gigawatts to 36 Gigawatts in 2020.
  • India has pioneered two major initiatives ‘Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure’ and ‘International Solar Alliance’.
  • A United Nations report released earlier this year stated that India’s per capita emissions are actually 60% lower than the global average.

Paris agreement and Climate Change

  • The Paris Agreement was adopted under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015.
  • The central aim of the agreement is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping the global temperature rise, in this century, well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • China who is the largest emitter, has recently stated in UN that its CO2 emissions will peak before 2030 and will achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.
  • The US has become the first nation in the world to formally withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. This weakens the global fight against climate change as US is the second largest emitter (~15%).

Current Status of Global Emissions

  • Five years after the Paris agreement, all states have submitted their national contributions to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
  • The contributions are radically insufficient to reach the well below 2 degrees Celsius limit and are even further from the 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature limit identified in the Paris Agreement.
  • Besides India, only Bhutan, the Philippines, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Morocco and Gambia were complying with the accord.
  • China has the highest GHG emissions (30%) while the US contributes 13.5% and the EU 8.7%.

-Source: Indian Express

December 2023