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CoP26 summit: On Methane, Forests and Climate finance

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Context:

Leaders at the CoP26 global climate conference in Glasgow have pledged to stop deforestation by the end of the decade and slash emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane to help slow climate change.

India said that climate finance cannot continue at the levels decided in 2009, and emphasised that it should be at least $1 trillion to meet the goals of addressing climate change.

Relevance:

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

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. COP26 on Ending deforestation
  2. COP26 on Reducing methane emissions
  3. India on Climate Finance at the COP26
  4. Meeting of Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC)

COP26 on Ending deforestation

  • In the COP26 climate summit’s first major deal, leaders at the COP26 global climate conference have pledged to stop deforestation by 2030 to help slow climate change. According to the Global Forest Watch, in 2020 the world lost 2,58,000 sq. km of forests.
  • Felling trees contributes to climate change because it depletes forests that absorb vast amounts of the warming gas CO2.
  • This agreement expands a commitment by 40 countries as part of the 2014 New York Declaration of Forests. The New York Declaration on Forests is a voluntary and non-legally binding political declaration adopted in 2014. The Declaration pledges to halve the rate of deforestation by 2020, to end it by 2030, and to restore hundreds of millions of acres of degraded land.
  • Over 100 national leaders have pledged to halt and reverse deforestation and land degradation by the end of the decade. Brazil – where stretches of the Amazon rainforest have been cut down – was also among the signatories.
  • The pledge includes almost £14bn ($19.2bn) of public and private funds to invest in protecting and restoring forests. Some of the funding will go to developing countries to restore damaged land, tackle wildfires and support indigenous communities. Under the agreement, 12 countries pledged to provide $12 billion of public funding between 2021 and 2025 for developing countries to restore degraded land and tackle wildfires.
  • Governments of 28 countries also committed to removing deforestation from the global trade of food including animal husbandry and other agricultural products such as palm oil, soya and cocoa. These industries drive forest loss by cutting down trees to make space for animals to graze or crops to grow.
  • More than 30 of the world’s biggest financial companies have also promised to end investment in activities linked to deforestation.
  • Though the environmental experts have welcomed the move, they have also warned on how a previous deal in 2014 had failed to slow deforestation at all.

COP26 on Reducing methane emissions

  • While the main focus of efforts to curb global warming has been on carbon dioxide, experts point out that cutting methane emissions could be one of the most effective interventions to reduce near-term global warming. Although there’s more CO2 in the atmosphere and it sticks around for longer, individual methane molecules have a more powerful warming effect on the atmosphere than single CO2 molecules given its higher Global Warming Potential (GWP). The Global Warming Potential (GWP) of a greenhouse gas is its ability to trap extra heat in the atmosphere over time relative to carbon dioxide (CO2).
  • Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases and is responsible for a third of current warming from human activities. Some of the major sources of methane emissions include animal husbandry, landfill waste and oil and gas production.
  • The US and the EU have announced a global partnership to cut emissions of the greenhouse gas methane by 2030. The Global Methane Pledge aims to slash methane emissions by 30% by 2030 compared with 2020 levels.
  • Nearly 90 countries have pledged support to this U.S. and EU-led effort. The Global Methane Pledge, first announced in September, now covers emissions from two-thirds of the global economy. While Brazil, one of the five biggest emitters of methane, has signed up, three other large emitter nations — China, Russia and India — have not signed up.

India on Climate Finance at the COP26

  • India said that climate finance cannot continue at the levels decided in 2009, and emphasised that it should be at least $1 trillion to meet the goals of addressing climate change.
  • Speaking at the Ministerial meeting of Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) at the 26th international climate conference under way in Glasgow, India also called upon the LMDC countries to work closely to protect their interests.
  • India said that climate finance should be at least $1 trillion to meet the goals of addressing climate change and there should be a system to monitor climate finance as we have for monitoring mitigation.

Meeting of Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC)

  • Speaking at the Ministerial meeting of Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC) at the 26th international climate conference, Indian Union Environment Minister called upon the LMDC countries to work closely to protect the common interests of the Global South in the ongoing climate negotiations.
  • Indian Environment Minister pointed out that the climate finance targets cannot continue at the levels decided in 2009, and emphasised that it should be at least $1 trillion. He also called for a system to monitor climate finance.
  • The Minister requested the LMDC members to join hands with India to support the global initiatives it has pioneered, including the International Solar Alliance (ISA), Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and the Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT).
  • LeadIT is launched by India and Sweden along with the World Economic Forum with the support of the Stockholm Environment Institute in 2019 during the United Nations Secretary-General Climate Action Summit. Currently, the Group has a membership of 13 countries and 15 companies, including Dalmia Cement, Mahindra Group and SpiceJet from India, committed towards low carbon industry transition.

-Source: The Hindu

 

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