IASbhai Daily Editorial Hunt | 30th Nov 2020
Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill
EDITORIAL HUNT #268 :“Climate Change Summits and Efforts till 2020 | UPSC”
Climate Change Summits and Efforts till 2020 | UPSC
T.P. Sreenivasan, a former Ambassador, was the Vice Chairman of the first Conference of Parties to the UNFFCC from 1992 to 1995
The Paris Agreement is no panacea
It is a repudiation of the principles of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’ and ‘the polluter must pay’
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3 : Climate Change : Paris Agreement
There is no language in the Paris climate agreement which can define penal actions and bound measures on the countries . The vigour of climate action has faded away. Discuss the climate efforts and international commitments until we met the pandemic. -(GS 3)
- Polluters must pay concept
- Efforts over the years
- A Fundamental Change
- Way Forward
- THE POLLUTERS PAY MINDSET : Today, the Paris Agreement is deemed as the solution for all environmental ills when the truth is that it is based on- ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’ and ‘the polluter must pay’.
- CLIMATE WHISTLEBLOWERS : Mr. Trump was not the only one who called the Paris Agreement a hoax.
- ADHERING TO MINIMUM STANDARDS : Many scientists and environmentalists expressed deep disappointment when it was adopted, as the national and international actions envisaged under it were far below the optimum levels.
- BENCHMARKS : They did not add up to limiting the rise of global temperature to below 2°C, the minimum necessary to save the globe from disastrous consequences.
- CHANGING MANNERISM : It merely opened a new path to protect the lifestyles of industrialised nations by denying the developing countries their right to development.
SOURCES : SHUTTERSTOCK
EFFORTS OVER THE YEARS
- GLOBAL COOPERATION : The most hopeful time for global cooperation in protection of the planet was between the time of the Stockholm Conference (1972) and the time of the Rio Conference (1992).
- CREATING A SYNC : Mounting scientific evidence about the role of anthropogenic emissions in global warming led to political initiatives to harmonise development and environment.
- HISTORIC DEAL : The historic consensus in Rio led to the adoption of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).
- FRAMEWORK : RIO was a model global instrument balancing the right to development of the developing countries and the obligations of the developed countries.
- OUTCOMES : A distinction was made between the ‘‘luxury emissions” of the developed countries, which were reduced mandatorily, and the survival emissions of the developed countries, which were allowed to increase.
- TECHNOLOGICAL ASSISTANCE : Moreover, a huge financial package was approved to develop environment-friendly technologies in developing countries.
- KICKING THE DEAL : By the time the Conference of the Parties was held in Berlin in 1995, the developed countries had backed off from their commitments.
- PROTOCOL : The Kyoto Protocol enshrined the Rio principles.
- EMISSION TARGETS : It fixed emission targets for developed countries and a complex set of provisions was included to satisfy their interests.
- RATIFICATION STATUS : Kyoto Protocol was never ratified by the U.S. Congress and the U.S. withdrew its support in 2001.
- THE ACCORD : The end of the Kyoto Protocol and the abandonment of the spirit of the Rio principles were reflected in the Copenhagen Accord (2009).
- CENTRAL IDEA OF COPENHAGEN ACCORD : It was on the argument that a global climate action plan would be possible only if all reductions of the greenhouse gases were made voluntary.
- VALIDITY : The basic terms of the Copenhagen Accord were brokered directly by a handful of key country leaders including the U.S., China, India and Brazil on the final day of the conference.
- OBJECTIONS AND REJECTIONS : It took another full day of tense negotiations to arrive at a procedural compromise allowing the deal to be formalised over the bitter objections of a few governments.
- BIRTH OF PARIS AGREEMENT : There was a virtual revolt by the developing countries, but the Paris Agreement was virtually born in Copenhagen, and adopted later in 2015.
A FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE
- A COMMON PLATFORM : The Paris Agreement marked a fundamental change in the principles of Rio and for the first time brought all nations into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change.
- STRENGTHENING EFFORTS : It requires all parties to put forward their best efforts through nationally determined contributions (NDCs) and to strengthen these efforts in the years ahead.
- REPORTING MECHANISM : This includes all parties to report regularly on their emissions and on their implementation efforts.
- VOLUNTARISM : The Paris Agreement moved away from the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and all countries were placed on an equal footing.
- DESIRED OUTCOME : The NDCs so far submitted will not result in the desired objective of limiting increase of global warming to below 2°C.
- CUT GREEN HOUSES GASES : The Paris Agreement requires that all countries — rich, poor, developed, and developing — slash greenhouse gas emissions.
- PENAL ACTION : Nations can voluntarily set their emissions targets and incur no penalties for falling short of their targets.
- FIVE YEARS APPROACH : It sets forth a requirement for countries to announce their next round of targets every five years, but does not include a specific requirement to achieve them.
SOURCES : SHUTTERSTOCK
- REJECTED TREATY : The scientific community has already rejected the Paris Agreement as a solution.
- IRREVERSIBLE CHANGES : Further temperature rise, even of 1.5°C, may result in catastrophic and irreversible changes.
- ROASTED PLANET : Even a 1°C hotter planet is not a steady state, says a report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
- TECHNO-OPTIMISM : The techno-optimism that the wonders of technology will be able to find answers to the dilemma we face without our having to alter our patterns of living is a delusion.
- COLLABORATIVE APPROACH : This will only be possible if the world rejects nationalism and parochialism and adopts collaborative responses to the crisis.
“The pathways to avoiding an even hotter world would require a swift and complete transformation not just of the global economy but of society too”
SOURCES: THE HINDU EDITORIAL HUNT | Climate Change Summits and Efforts till 2020 | UPSC