Editorials/Opinions Analysis For UPSC 23 June 2023
- NCQG: Promoting Equitable Climate Financing
- India-US Defence Deal: Boosting Fighter Jet Engine Manufacturing
It was vital to examine and modify the climate financing infrastructure during the recently finished Bonn climate conference in Germany, which was expected to lay out the political agenda for the significant Conference Of Parties-28 (COP28) meeting in Dubai at the end of the year.
GS Paper3 : Environment- Climate financing
Describe the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG)’s importance in climate finance and its possible effects on developing countries. Examine developed countries’ viewpoints on the approach of collective goals and the mobilisation of investments from the private sector. Analyse the merits of having distinct targets for loss and damage, adaptation, and mitigation within the NCQG. (250 Words)
The NCQG: Developing Nations’ Empowerment
- The $100 billion commitment each year: Developed nations promised to give developing nations $100 billion yearly by 2020 in 2009. On the other hand, it became clear that much more money is needed to combat climate change. As a result, the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement established the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG). By taking into account scientific data and addressing the rising demands for funding for Loss and Damage, the NCQG seeks to be in line with the changing needs of developing countries.
- Anchoring the Needs and Priorities of Developing Nations: The NCQG raises the commitment ceiling for affluent countries, assuring greater consideration of the needs and objectives of developing countries, and is recognised as the “most important climate goal” in the world. It addresses the prior commitment’s ambiguity over the definition and sources of “climate finance.”
- Addressing the Increasing Calls for money for Loss and Damage: Climate advocacy groups stress the growing demand for money to address Loss and Damage brought on by climate change. In particular in impoverished nations, the NCQG seeks to offer enough financial support for mitigating these negative effects.
Justification for a New Finance Goal
- Assessing the $100 billion target’s implementation: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that developed nations contributed $83.3 billion of the $100 billion promise in 2020. However, Oxfam’s investigation identifies potentially inaccurate data and reporting procedures, raising questions about whether the target will be met.
- False Data and Reporting Practises: The evaluation of progress in climate funding is hampered by problems with transparency and a lack of trustworthy reporting procedures. Assessing the real monies allocated and dispersed requires improving reporting transparency and accuracy.
- Lack of Clarity in “Climate Finance” Definition and Source: Tracking and evaluating the financial contributions made by industrialised countries is made more difficult by the lack of a generally accepted definition and sources of “climate finance.” Accountability and efficient resource allocation depend on a clear definition and transparent reporting.
- Responsibilities and Obligations of Developed Countries: Developed countries are more accountable for climate change because their economic expansion frequently generates large carbon emissions. This understanding necessitates an equitable division of the costs associated with climate financing.
Issues with Climate Finance
- Increased Quantitative Availability but Limited Accessibility: Although the amount of money available for climate finance has increased, many developing countries still find it difficult to get immediate access to these funds. Effective climate action depends on enhancing distribution effectiveness and accessibility.
- Private Sources and Delayed Disbursement: Private sources account for a sizable amount of climate finance, which causes delays in disbursement. For developing countries to properly execute climate programmes, timely access to finance is essential.
- Burden of Loans and Equity: The majority of climate money is given in the form of loans and equity, which might put developing countries under financial strain. Their ability to combat climate change and create sustainable infrastructure is hampered by this.
- Delayed Access and High Interest Rates: Accessing climate finance frequently entails protracted waiting periods, which makes it harder for developing countries to pay off their debt. Their efforts to promote sustainable development are further hampered by high loan interest rates.
Views from Developed Countries
- NCQG as a Collective Goal for All Nations: Developed countries contend that the NCQG should be a global objective that both developed and developing countries should work towards. This viewpoint fosters global cooperation and calls on all nations to fund climate change.
- Possible Effects on Developing Nations: There are worries that making the NCQG a global objective may unfairly burden underdeveloped countries. They could be unable to afford the financing needed for loss and damage repair, adaption, and mitigation.
- Mobilising Private Sector Loans and Investments: Developed nations stress the significance of attracting private sector loans and investment for climate funding. They think that greater corporate sector participation can greatly speed up the execution of climate action programmes and help with finance requirements.
The Important Year 2023
- The NCQG Agreement Deadline is: Countries have till 2023 to come to an agreement on the NCQG, so the year 2023 is quite important. Through this agreement, financial targets and obligations for climate financing will be established, beyond the prior cap of $100 billion annually.
- Estimating the Investments Necessary for a Low-Carbon Economy: According to experts, the annual investment required to make the switch to a low-carbon economy ranges from $4 trillion to $6 trillion. These large financial requirements highlight how crucial it is to agree on the NCQG and to mobilise resources accordingly.
- Investigating Separate Targets for Loss and Damage, Adaptation, and Mitigation: To effectively address the various facets of climate change, some advocate defining distinct targets or sub-goals inside the NCQG. This strategy guarantees a thorough concentration on increasing concessional funding, lowering debt accumulation, and ensuring a fair transition.
Prioritising inclusion, openness, and efficient resource allocation becomes crucial as nations attempt to complete the NCQG. The NCQG may promote an equitable and citizen-led transition to a sustainable future by addressing the issues of accessibility, debt loads, and assuring the engagement of all stakeholders. The next Global Stocktake at COP28 will be crucial in determining the roadmap for climate financing and facilitating the change needed to effectively tackle climate change.
The Indian Prime Minister’s agenda is anticipated to be dominated by a large defence agreement during the current official State Visit to the US. The agreement centres on the partnership between Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and American manufacturing giant General Electric (GE) Aerospace for the joint production of fighter jet engines in India.
GS Paper 2 – Bilateral Agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
In terms of boosting domestic aerospace capabilities and promoting high-tech collaboration, discuss the implications of the India-US defence agreement for the joint manufacturing of fighter jet engines. (150 words)
Information on the Deal:
- Technology Sharing: The agreement enables GE Aerospace and HAL to jointly develop the GE-F414 jet engines that will power the domestic Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas Mk-II.
- Unprecedented Technology Transfer: According to reports, the US has consented to transfer to India roughly 80% of the value of the technology, which would be a record-breaking level of technology transfer.
Need of this Deal
India has made tremendous advancements in a number of space and defence programmes and has created its own fighter plane, the LCA Tejas, which is needed for the deal. The nation has had difficulty creating the right engines to power these aircraft, though.
India’s pursuit of indigenous aero-engines
- India’s pursuit of indigenous aero-engines started in the 1960s with the HF-24 Marut fighter jet, which had limits since it lacked a suitable engine. Historical Efforts: India’s pursuit of indigenous aero-engines has a long history.
- The Kaveri Programme: Launched in 1986, the Kaveri programme sought to create a homegrown military gas turbine engine for the LCA project. It cost a lot of money, yet it was unable to achieve the required technical standards.
- Interim Measure: India chose American GE-F404 engines for the LCA Tejas Mark-1 as a temporary fix.
- F414 Engine Selection: In 2010, the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) decided to power the Tejas Mark-2 with the more potent F414 engines. The deal, however, ran into problems with US domestic legislation and regulatory issues.
The following factors contributed to the recent agreement:
- Strengthening the US-India defence relationship: In 2016, the US recognised India as a significant defence partner, which made it easier to share essential military hardware and technology.
- Partnerships in strategic technologies The GE-HAL agreement was brought to light during the inaugural meeting of the Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET), which introduced a new framework to improve strategic technological alliances.
Characteristics and Importance of the F414 Engine:
- Advanced Technology: To satisfy India’s defence needs, the F414 engine contains a fully digital electronic system called Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC). It also has bespoke safety measures.
- International Cooperation: The F414 engines are used in cutting-edge combat aircraft all over the world, such as the Saab JAS 39 Gripen and the Boeing F-18 Super Hornet.
- India’s Aerospace Milestone: After the agreement is signed, India will join the US, Russia, France, and the UK as the fifth nation in the world to manufacture jet engines.
- Importance for India: The agreement is strategically significant for India in terms of improving technological capabilities, opposing China’s influence, and replacing outdated Russian fighters with domestically made ones.
The India-US defence agreement for the production of fighter jet engines represents an important development in domestic aerospace capabilities. It has the potential to change India’s defence industrial sector, improve military prowess, and promote high-tech collaboration in the face of shifting global dynamics. Additionally, it provides an alternative to India’s conventional reliance on Russian equipment and supports the nation’s objective of gaining defence self-sufficiency.