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CoP26 summit: India’s Carbon Neutrality by 2070

Context:

In the COP26 climate summit, India said that it will achieve net zero emissions by 2070 – putting a time-bound target to achieve net zero for the first time.

Relevance:

GS-III: Environment and Ecology (Conservation of the Environment, International Treaties and Agreements), GS-II: International Relations (Foreign Policies affecting India’s Interests)

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Conference of Parties (CoP) and COP26
  2. India’s ‘net zero’ commitment at COP26
  3. Sign off on Paris Rulebook, says BASIC
    1. Background: What is the Paris Agreement?
  4. About the Paris Rulebook and what was said about it?

Click Here to read more about Conference of Parties (CoP) and COP26

India’s ‘net zero’ commitment at COP26

  • Until COP26 India was the only major emitter that hadn’t committed to a timeline to achieve net zero, or a year by which it would ensure its net carbon dioxide emissions would be zero.
  • For the first time, Indian Prime Minister said that India will achieve net zero emissions latest by 2070 at the COP26 summit in Glasgow.
  • By 2030 India will ensure 50% of its energy will be sourced from renewable energy sources. India will reduce its carbon emissions until 2030 by a billion tonnes.
  • India will also reduce its emissions intensity per unit of GDP by less than 45%. India would also install 500 Gigawatt of renewable energy by 2030, a 50 gw increase from its existing targets.
  • The Indian Prime Minister also said that sustainable modes of living being practised in certain traditional communities ought to be made part of school curricula and the lessons from India’s efforts at adaptation in programmes such as Jal Jeevan mission, Swach Bharat mission and mission ujwala ought to be popularized globally.

Sign off on Paris Rulebook, says BASIC

  • Indian Environment Minister delivered a statement on behalf of the BASIC group of countries (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) at COP26 – that the Paris Agreement Rulebook be concluded at COP26.
  • Brazil, South Africa, India and China are major developing economies which are significant polluters but bear diminished responsibility for the carbon dioxide that has been pumped into the atmosphere since 1850 and also have low per capita emissions because of their significant populations.
  • These countries have therefore for many years sought to rebuff pressure from developed countries to take on firmer emission reductions.
  • India also said that COP26 must aim for higher global ambition on climate finance and adaptation as well, along with recognition of the Parties’ differing historical responsibilities and the developmental challenges faced by developing countries, compounded by the pandemic.
  • India also recalled the “bottom-up nature” of the Paris Agreement and the freedom of Parties to determine their NDCs and progressively update them based on the outcomes of the Global Stocktake cycle — that specifies the actual progress made by countries so far in mitigating emissions — and as per national circumstances and call of science.

Background: What is the Paris Agreement?

  • The Paris Agreement is an international treaty signed by almost all countries in the world at COP21 in Paris in 2015.
  • Its aims are to keep the rise in the global average temperature to ‘well below’ 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, ideally 1.5 degrees; strengthen the ability to adapt to climate change and build resilience; and align all finance flows with ‘a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development’.
  • The Paris Agreement has a ‘bottom-up’ approach where countries themselves decide by how much they will reduce their emissions by a certain year. They communicate these targets to the UNFCCC in the form of ‘nationally determined contributions’, or ‘NDCs’.

About the Paris Rulebook and what was said about it?

  • The Paris Rulebook is the Paris Agreement’s ‘implementation guide’.
  • Countries had agreed to develop and finalise the Paris Rulebook at COP24 in Poland in 2018.
  • While the Paris Agreement laid out the framework for international action, the Rulebook will set this Agreement in motion by laying out the tools and processes to enable it is implemented fairly and properly.
  • When it comes to framing the Rulebook, agreeing on what rules should govern international carbon markets – the ‘Article 6 negotiations’ – is expected to be particularly difficult.
  • The Indian Environment Minister said that the principles of Equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC) and, recognition of the very different national circumstances of countries must be respected while framing the Paris Rulebook.

-Source: The Hindu

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September 2022
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