COP25: Developing nation’s strike hard

climate change__

(Markus Spiske, Unsplash)

This article was written for The European Sting by one of our passionate readers, Dr Animesh Upadhyay. The opinions expressed within reflect only the writer’s views and not necessarily The European Sting’s position on the issue.

The 25th year of the Conference of parties (COP25) must have been thought to start out with a pragmatic start and a hint of positive outcome. But the originally scheduled summit to be held at Brazil between 11th and 22nd of November, 2019 was relocated to Chile after Mr. Jair Bolsonaro’s withdrawal. Chile, the decided place for the summit after Brazil is still fighting the unjust system under President Sebastian Pinera’s constitution. And due to constant riots taking place in the country, the new place for COP25 was held at Madrid, Spain between 2nd and 13th December, 2019 under the presidency of the Chilean government.

The director general of WHO: Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that, “The Paris Agreement is potentially the strongest health agreement of this century”. And this statement, like many others passed around by eminent leaders at the previous year’s COP24 and focusing mainly on the “Paris Agreement” were part of the unsure promises made in 2019. Along with constantly trying to curb this century’s global temperature to 2 degree Celsius lesser than the present but above the pre-industrialized levels, the accord aimed to upregulate the ability of countries to deal with:

➢ The impact of climate change

➢ Financial flows consistent with a low GHG emissions

➢ Climate resilient pathway

➢ Enhanced transparency framework for action and support

India’s perspective towards COP25:

The five developing nations-Chile, Ghana, India, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia will present updates on climate actions and what is needed to strengthen their capacities in the following year when the “Paris Agreement 2020” will be discussed.

The pledges taken and promises made considering all the past summits, have turned out to be wavering and dwindling as fortnights and decades have passed. The possible undertaking seems like inconvenient truth in the form of climate change, but India on the other hand is providing with a convenient action plan. Putting on a brave face and attempting to ‘Walk the talk’.

India being a ‘developing country’ has been facing limitations in many sectors. However, out of the 6 countries that are on track to meet their NDCs, India is currently leading the pack. It has managed to meet the “Kyoto Protocol” and still stayed afloat with a few resources and strategies to spare for the promises made by Prime Minister Modi during the UN Climate change summit.

The Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Shri Prakash Javadekar was the nation’s representative at COP25 in Madrid and spoke about India’s endeavor after the “Paris Agreement” 2015.

  • • The increment in green cover of about 15000 km2– for better management of the environmental carbon load
  • • The government has managed to replace activities involving firewood burning with LPG (liquid petroleum gas)- thus decreasing emission gases
  • • A vision for a distant 2030 of blending 20% ethanol with petrol and using it as nation’s primary source of fuel is being researched upon
  • • Prime Minister Modi had promised 450 GW worth of energy being generated by the country during his presence at the UN Climate Change summit, and the nation has managed to keep up with the rising trend of inclination by generating 85 GW of energy
  • • Millions of light sources and streetlights have been replaced with LEDs

A longer term and sustainable approach of building and teaching knowledge exchange and technical support to build disaster and climate resilient infrastructure was undertaken in order to help countries internationally.

India is building its tenor by embracing sustainable lifestyle. India, being a developing nation, requested in the plenary session regarding the “Climate finances and credits” along with other nations meeting the NDC. India, till the end, will stress upon the need for fulfilling pre-2020 commitments by the developed nations and take a step-in order to avoid any similar implementation gaps adding to the burden to developing nations, like itself, in the post 2020 period.

European Green Deal:

The European union council president, Charles Michel, seemed to have dismissed the previous year’s Paris agreement and the status quo of the NDCs. His potentially questionable foresight, about making the European union the first carbon-neutral continent in the world by 2050, depicts the Union’s disarray with the already burdened job of pulling off the Paris agreement. However far-fetched it may appear, few of the action points are:

  • • Proposal on a European ‘Climate Law’ enshrining the 2050 climate neutrality objective (March 2020)
  • • Comprehensive plan to increase the EU 2030 climate target to at least 50 per cent and towards 55 per cent in a responsible way (Summer 2020)
  • • Strategy on offshore wind
  • • Initiatives to stimulate lead markets for climate neutral and circular products in energy intensive industrial sectors (from 2020)
  • • Proposal to support zero carbon steel-making processes by 2030
  • • Launch of the European Climate Pact (March 2020)

The broader point being that, this improbable task would hold assurance if the EU was making policy from a moral high ground. It is not — its own targets are far from enough to fulfill its responsibilities to the Paris Agreement!

Stating the rhetoric:

The climate program director at the Ocean Conservancy, Ms. Gwyne Taraska, stated out the obvious disappointment of the COP25, and ended the summit by including “Blue COP” during the longest climate negotiation in history. COP25’s decision text has recognized the importance of ocean as an integral part of the Earth’s climate system. Due to this, the costal ecosystem, it’s integrity and such similar reforms would be a constant part of every succeeding COP.

Even after a week of negotiation at COP25, no significant headway has been made. This sets some worrisome stage for what will happen next year when the Paris agreement kicks in. Can a non-binding agreement which has no enforcement mechanism be enough to make the countries take these commitments seriously? The activists and various governments are waiting for a better resolve on November 9th-20th 2020 in Glasgow, UK at COP26.

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