Cabinet approves ratification of the Second Commitment Period

Cabinet approves ratification of the Second Commitment Period of Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has given its approval to ratify the Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol on containing the emission of Green House Gases (GHGs). The second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 2012. So far, 65 countries have ratified the Second Commitment Period.

Background

  • The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 and the 1st commitment period was from 2008-2012.
  • At Doha in 2012, the amendments to Kyoto Protocol for the 2nd commitment period (the Doha Amendment) were successfully adopted for the period 2013- 2020.
  • Developed countries have already started implementing their commitments under the ‘opt-in’ provisions of the Doha Amendment.
  • India has always emphasized the importance of climate actions by developed country Parties in the pre-2020 period. Besides, it has advocated climate actions based on the principles and provisions of the Convention, such as the principle of Equity and Common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR & RC).

Significance

  • In view of the critical role played by India in securing international consensus on climate change issues, this decision further underlines India’s leadership in the comity of nations committed to global cause of environmental protection and climate justice.
  • Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by India will encourage other developing countries also to undertake this exercise. Implementation of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects under this commitment period in accordance with Sustainable Development priorities will attract some investments in India as well.
  • The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) seeks to stabilise Green House Gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would minimize interference with the climate system.
  • Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of Greenhouse Gas (GHGs) in the atmosphere, the Kyoto Protocol places commitments on developed nations to undertake mitigation targets and to provide financial resources and transfer of technology to the developing nations. Developing countries like India have no mandatory mitigation obligations or targets under the Kyoto Protocol.

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Kigali Agreement – A new step

Kigali Agreement is a historic cornerstone which after seven years of negotiations, 197 countries have finally reached, in Kigali, Rwanda, to amend the Montreal Protocol and phase down hydrofluorocarbons. The Kigali Amendment is one that could avoid global warming by up to 0.5° C.

Kigali Agreement | Key facts

kigali agreement

The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol is legally binding and will come into force from 1 January 2019. Under Kigali Amendment, in all 197 countries, including India have agreed to a timeline to reduce the use of HFCs by roughly 85% of their baselines by 2045.

All signatory countries have been divided into three groups with different timelines to go about reductions of HFCs. These include:

  1. Wealthy, developed countries, such as the United States and the European Union, will start to limit their use of HFCs within a few years and make a cut of at least 10% from 2019.
  2. Rapidly developing countries, including many in Latin America, will freeze their use of HFCs starting in 2024.
  3. Developing countries, specifically India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and the Gulf states, will freeze their use starting in 2028.

Kigali Agreement | Comparison with Paris Agreement

While the Paris pledges are broad, they are also voluntary, often vague and dependent on the political will of future world leaders. In contrast, the Kigali deal includes specific targets and timetables to replace HFCs with more planet-friendly alternatives, trade sanctions to punish scofflaws, and an agreement by rich countries to help finance the transition of poor countries to the costlier replacement products. So, the new accord may be more likely to yield climate-shielding actions by industry and governments.

Kigali Agreement | Analysis

kigali agreement

  • HFC emissions contribute far less to climate change than carbon emissions. They are more potent, but less widely used.
  • Alternatives to HFCs have significant challenges: toxicity, price, flammability.
  • Developing countries in hot regions with serious use for HFC-based air conditioners, such as the Gulf States, will not have to limit emissions for more than 10 years.
  • China, the world’s largest producer of HFCs, will not start to cut their production or use until 2029.

Kigali agreement | Indian Perspective

kigali agreement

Initially, India was not ready to agree on a freeze year but then it showed flexibility. Freeze year is the year in which phase down of HFCs starts. Not only it agreed on freeze year, but also agreed to advance it to 2028. This is four years later than its peer club countries China, Brazil and those in Africa, and achieving maximum reduction by 2047, two years after they do.

  • In welcome contrast, however, India has ordered the manufacturers of HFC 23 — a by-product of another chemical used in refrigerant gas manufacture and with a staggeringly high contribution to global warming — to now capture and dispose of it at their own cost.
  • The decision is of particular significance, considering the expansion of refrigeration and air conditioning in India with a rise in incomes, leading to higher levels of HFC release into the atmosphere.

Conclusion

kigali agreement

Same as in the Paris Agreement on climate change, which is strengthened by the Kigali amendments, developing countries will legitimately expect rich countries to aid them as they seek to acquire green technologies for industrial use.

India has shown benevolence towards climate change negotiations given the fact that India’s economic aspirations are not in sync with the developed countries. But such leadership in climate change negotiations would have far bigger implications given that we have bypassed the BASIC grouping’s stand to accommodate the demands of the developed countries.

Marrakech Action Plan

Marrakech, in Morocco from 7 to 18th November 2016 saw the twenty-second session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), the twelfth session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 12), and the first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA 1). More than 200 nations attended the conference and issued the “Marrakech Action Proclamation” to signal a shift towards a new era of implementation and action on climate and sustainable development.

Marrakech | Action Proclamation

  • The proclamation stressed on the momentum on climate change worldwide, and in many multilateral fora. The momentum is seen as irreversible – it is being driven not only by governments, but by science, business and global action of all types at all levels.
  • It called for the next level task to rapidly build on that momentum, together, to move forward purposefully to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to foster adaptation efforts, thereby benefitting and supporting the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals. All this is seen achievable through political commitment to combat climate change, as a matter of urgent priority.
  • All parties called to strengthen and support efforts to eradicate poverty, ensure food security and to take stringent action to deal with climate change challenges in agriculture.
  • All parties called for urgently raising ambition and strengthening cooperation among themselves to close the gap between current emissions trajectories and the pathway needed to meet the long-term temperature goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • All the parties called for an increase in the volume, flow and access to finance for climate projects, alongside improved capacity and technology, including from developed to developing countries. The developed countries reaffirmed their pledge of USD 100 billion fund mobilisation per year by 2020 to support climate action by developing countries.
  • All the parties called for advancing of climate action and support well before 2020, to take into account the specific needs and circumstances of developing countries, the least developed countries and most importantly the countries vulnerable to adverse impacts of climate change.
  • The parties to the Kyoto Protocol also encouraged the ratification of Doha Amendment (forwarded by the developing countries to raise the ambition of climate actions in the pre-2020 period).
  • Moreover, they also called for all non-state actors to join their hands for immediate and ambitious action and mobilization.

Marrakech Action Plan | Indian Perspective

Most of the demands of India with relation to providing finance to developing nations, inclusion of sustainable lifestyle with minimum carbon footprint and a clear cut mention of flow of funds in the draft of the political proclamation has been accommodated. India’s demand to push for climate action for sustainable agriculture (COP 17, Durban) has also been accommodated alongside the principles of equity.

Marrakech Action Plan | An Analysis

  • Marrakech’s negotiations and proclamation stressed upon a combined message to the US President-elect Donald Trump, anticipating a change in stance on climate action by the new administration of the United States.
  • The negotiations built upon the need to have a climate treaty to come into effect much before the 2020 deadline set in Paris.
  • The developed countries might have pledged only about USD 150 million at Marrakech but the developing countries have been able to insert a clause in the final proclamation calling for scaling up the financial resources beyond $100 billion, per year, after 2020.
  • A strong solidarity between the developing countries was witnessed again in the Marrakech Conference, especially after a divided house that was witnessed during the Paris Conference last year, when developed countries managed to strike a chord with India and China through bilateral discussions.

The success of a multilateral agreement depends upon the fulfilment of commitments by all the concerned parties. For every effort that the parties seek, they would need finance and technology apart from a firm political commitment over the issue. The world needs all parties to act in synchronisation to keep the rise of the global average temperature well below 2°C in this century.

Paris Agreement – Implications to India

Part 1 of this Series : Climate Change | An Overview

Part 2 of this Series : Climate Change | Agreements

Part 3 of this Series : Climate Change | CoP

Part 4 of this Series : Climate Change | Paris Agreement

Paris Agreement on Climate change has had many implications for India. Some of the important implications are being discussed here.
PARIS AGREEMENT | STRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS FOR INDIA 
Implications

  • The BASIC (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) grouping has been needled by the developed countries, especially USA. It would mean that a stronger force which used to deliberate during negotiations for climate change agreements stand divided, giving an obvious edge to the developed countries.
  • Changing the lap from the concerns of developing countries to the lap of developed countries led by USA would have geopolitical concerns. It could be a big blow to a multipolar world that India wishes to maintain.
  • With the successful ratification of the Paris Agreement, India has discarded the criticism levelled by the developed countries of being a spoilsport during multilateral negotiations. India has successfully shown a decisive leadership ability to embrace further responsibilities on the global stage, such as the leadership in the United Nations Security Council.
  • India’s INDCs were already in sync with the Paris Agreement with special focus on solar energy targets, hence, India had no bigger compromises, yet giant strategical gains for the future.
  • India is happy about the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s words such as ‘equity’, ‘climate justice’, ‘sustainable lifestyle’ and ‘reducing consumption’ have been kept intact in the agreement, showing India’s mettle in the multilateral podiums.
  • India has taken the lead in cunningly establishing ‘International Solar Alliance’ to supplement its costs related with INDCs related to solar energy.
  • With the formal ratification by China, India could not have had kept its cards inside the den for long. Doing otherwise could have had economic consequences with China possibly taking a leap in availing Clean Development Mechanism funding and other carbon offsets.
  • Through the ratification process, India has also brought island States from Africa, Pacific, Caribbean and other marginal groupings into confidence, reassuring our commitment towards climate change reduction commitments.
  • With most of the renewable energy technology patented with the developed world, especially the USA, the developing countries would have to rely heavily on import of such technology, thus affecting the Balance of Trade.

PARIS AGREEMENT | SOCIAL, POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES 

paris-talks1Although India has cleared the air over its commitment to Paris Agreement by highlighting the clauses of technology transfer and Green funding, there could be few short to medium term costs involved in the immediate future.

  • Through the ambitious targets of promoting solar energy (100 GW), India would incur huge costs of upgradation, especially since it has lost the case with USA in WTO regarding domestic content requirements with solar cell equipment technology. With the cost of solar energy coming down slowly, the domestic political fallouts could be big in the near future too when the general public would incur the cost of solar energy.
  • With the embracing of Montreal Protocol recently, India has committed to phase out of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in a time bound manner. This would involve serious upgradation of existing technologies used in refrigerant industries. But the decision rests on the clause of developing countries claiming full costs of conversion.
  • With the political fallout over Land Acquisition Bill in the last few years, the ambitious targets of afforestation would be difficult to materialise.
  • India is aiming to push the manufacturing sector growth; hence it has to ensure that the balance in demand for power and power generation is maintained during the transition from non-renewable to renewable sources of power generation. Otherwise, there could be a volatility in the economy which would be difficult to tame under the present unfavourable economic conditions worldwide.
  • Shift to renewable energy resources would hit the oil economies of the OPEC countries, ultimately affecting the employment opportunities of the Indian diaspora living in the region.
  • India has to consider the situation where the falling oil economies would suffer from legitimacy crisis and hence may draw down into a civil war like situation. In such event of crisis, it would be our utmost priority to secure the lives of our diaspora living in the region.
  • The living costs of the imported diaspora, saved from such conflict zones might disturb the domestic economy. Such large scale unemployment, if stretched over a long period of time might breed many other social evils.
  • The debilitating oil economies would push themselves towards war to consolidate domestic support (Example – Saudi Arabian intervention in Yemen). Such ripple effects of war may accelerate the problems of Indian diaspora in regions beyond oil economies.
  • In India, the increased unemployment levels, increased demand of resources and inability to increase supply consistently due to lack of factors of production might push the societal conflicts to an unbearable level.
  • As every change invites resistance, the outgoing oil industry in India would try its level best to lobby its interests, both through fair and unfair means which may push the political costs for India.
  • The emerging renewable energy industry might enjoy initial inelastic competition for a short term. Such semi-monopolies might create social unrest due to inflation and supply controls of basic consumer goods, unless the transition and business models are regulated by the Government.

PARIS AGREEMENT | SOCIAL, POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC FALLOUTS 
Economiv Fallout

  • The contemporary non-renewable energy economy is suffering a big blow due to demand-supply mismatch, the remnants of which would suffer from the transition towards renewable energy, hence pushing the world into a self- constructed economic recession.
  • Such economic fallouts would pursue political instability in the West Asian region because of increased costs, budget deficits and lowering down of revenue from oil, the signals of which are already evident from the Saudi Arabian economy.
  • With the political instability, the region may further draw down into the black hole of war, the costs of which include humanitarian crisis and arms race including WMDs.
  • With the discreet ‘Petrodollar’ agreement signed during the Yom Kippur War of 1973 between US and Saudi Arabia came to an end in 2010, there is no visible chance for its renewal post-renewable energy shift. This may facilitate a change of alliances in the region and subsequent escalation of conflicts might occur.
  • Economies like Russia, which depend majorly on energy and defence exports would find their chief source of income being eradicated through such multilateral arrangements. In order to compensate the same, they could increase their investment towards defence supplies, threatening the NATO countries and pushing the world into another Cold War. It is already happening.
  • Iran and Saudi Arabia’s Cold War has been heightened in the region due to the fall in oil revenue and the resulting legitimacy crisis in the domestic politics. Such increase in tensions could reignite the third and fourth generation warfare strategies.
  • Eyeing an opportunity from the legitimacy crisis generated through power vacuums, more guerrilla groups (FARC, SILF, Syrian Rebels etc) and terrorist groups (ISIS, AQAP, Jabhat al-Nusra etc) would emerge to fill the void left behind by the uprooted political systems.
  • With an already globalised world, the costs of war, political instability and demand-supply mismatches would flow to adjacent economies and ultimately affect emerging economies like China and India, who are seeking to maximise their exports and expand their channels of relevance in the region beyond Asia.
  • The African continent, already looming under severe economic and political crisis might see heightened tensions, especially when the oil revenues would decline. Countries like Nigeria and West African region who survive mostly due to the oil revenue might push themselves into post-colonisation civil war era.
  • Similarly, the South American region which is already suffering legitimacy crisis in Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil, the battle between Socialism and Neo-Capitalism could be reignited creating civil unrest in the region.
  • An emerging China, finding it unable to meet its energy requirements and pushing itself into a quagmire of economic slowdown might resort to assertive, expansionist and muscle flexing policy towards the neighbours for domestic power consolidation.
  • It would also be interesting to see how the ‘democracies’ with proven fossil fuel reserves like coal, petroleum and gas would pursue the agenda of minimising the non-renewable sources of energy, given that the non-renewable energy industry commands huge control over domestic and international politics.
  • The world has hardly recovered from the 2008 recession; it would be imprudent to push it again into the lap of another with downsizing the energy industries.
  • Until or unless the oil economies do not prepare themselves for a comfortable transition towards diversification of their economy, the threat signal of political legitimacy might loom over their political quarters.

CONCLUSION 

It has been observed that many of the INDCs committed by India rests on the assumption of availing Green Finance and Technology Transfer. However, the last international meeting on climate finance under the UN negotiations showed that developed countries were ‘green-washing’ the existing finance instead of providing additional funds. The international negotiations over next four years are also going to be strongly focussed on building a transparency and disclosure regime that can help countries such as India keep track of what are the real new funding routes opening for the climate or green energy sector and where it would have to deploy its own resources. The international negotiations starting November 8 in Morocco are, in the least, expected to set out deadlines for these rules to be put in place and how the manner in which they will be devised.

Climate Change | Paris Agreement

Part 1 of this Series : Climate Change | An Overview

Part 2 of this Series : Climate Change | Agreements

Part 3 of this Series : Climate Change | CoP

COP 21, PARIS
Funding and transfer of technology:

With regard to $100 billion funding and providing clean technology, there is no clarity in the agreement and these issues have been left to future negotiations during the next five years. Many developing and poor nations are upset with this fact. This would, in turn, hamper the entire process of adaptation and mitigation effort.

Historical emissions of rich countries:

  1. With the omission of the words ‘historical agreements’ of rich nations in the agreement it appears that the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibility of rich and poor nations has been diluted.
  2. This absolves rich countries of their responsibility for reducing their emissions drastically, which is required to save the planet from disastrous consequences of climate change.
  3. This, in turn, puts greater pressure on developing countries, in particular India and China, to reduce their emissions much more than they have pledged.

Monitoring mechanism:

The methodology of monitoring of implementation of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) remains unresolved in Paris and is still to be negotiated in the coming years.

  1. India and China have maintained that developed and developing countries should have different systems of monitoring and reporting, which were devised at Cancun in 2010. These are called as International Assessment and Review (IAR) for the developed and International Consultation and Analysis (ICA) for developing countries.
  2. Why different systems? This difference is due to the fact that developing countries do not have the necessary capability to undertake stringent reporting and thus they wanted the Paris Agreement must operationalise and implement differential obligations of developed and developing countries.

Other outcomes of the conference:

  1. The Paris Agreement has incorporated a new threshold limit of average global temperature rise of 1.5-degree Celsius by 2100 instead of the current limit of 2-degree Celsius. This requires all countries (rich nations in particular) to embark upon huge enhancement of emission cuts urgently.
  2. Economies in tech-innovative places such as the US and Japan are likely to do well, as renewable energy work takes off in poor countries having abundant ‘sunshine’ and ‘wind’. This will expand market share for companies involved in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Also, innovators and venture capitalists are likely to make a beeline for energy industry.

 
Significance of the Paris agreement –

  1. The Paris Agreement acknowledges the development imperatives of developing countries. The Agreement recognizes the developing countries’ right to development and their efforts to harmonize development with environment, while protecting the interests of the most vulnerable.
  2. The Paris Agreement recognizes the importance of sustainable lifestyles and sustainable patterns of consumption with developed countries taking the lead, and notes the importance of ‘climate justice’ in its preamble.
  3. The Agreement seeks to enhance the ‘implementation of the Convention whilst reflecting the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances.
  4. The objective of the Agreement further ensures that it is not mitigation-centric and includes other important elements such as adaptation, loss and damage, finance, technology, capacity building and transparency of action and support.
  5. Pre-2020 actions are also part of the decisions. The developed country parties are urged to scale up their level of financial support with a complete road map to achieve the goal of jointly providing US $ 100 billion by 2020 for mitigation and adaptation by significantly increasing adaptation finance from current levels and to further provide appropriate technology and capacity building support.
  • Important –
FEATURE ADDED IN COP 21, PARIS FEATURE BORN DURING –
Common but differentiated responsibilities Kyoto Protocol
$100 billion commitment by developed countries CoP 15, Copenhagen
Green Climate Fund CoP 16, Cancun
Principles of equity CoP 17, Durban
Limit to reduce global temperatures within 2 degree Celsius increase CoP 20, Lima

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • DID INDIA RATIFY THE PARIS AGREEMENT?

In case of India, the process of ratification is simple. It only required the Cabinet decision. India had pledged to:

  • Decrease the carbon per unit of GDP (carbon intensity of our economy) to about 33 to 35% in 2030 as compared to 2005 levels.
  • Meet at least 40% of India’s electricity generating capacity from non-fossil fuels.
  • Capture 5 billion tons of carbon dioxide by trees and forest cover.

India’s commitments of 100 GW of solar energy, 60 GW of wind energy and by 2022, we would have about 40% of our energy needs to be met from non-fossil fuel energy sources.

 

  • IS PARIS AGREEMENT FAIR TO INDIA?
  • Fair to India:
  1. The principle of “differentiation”, means developed nations must take greater action to fight climate change, has been retained, though in diluted form.
  2. India is allowed to carry out its development plans.
  3. India has safely accorded priority to the fact that India’s ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contributions’ rest on the condition that our targets would be met only if adequate funding and transfer of technology would be facilitated by the developed countries. In his interview to David Letterman, the Prime Minister stressed on this issue to clarify his stand that India’s compliance to Paris agreement also depends on the funding and technology transfer conditions being attested under the Climate agreement.
  • Unfair to India/Developing countries:
  1. Technology transfer: Developed countries opposed India’s demand to address issues related to intellectual property rights, future technology development and institutional arrangement.
  2. Responsibility of developing Vs Developed nation: Being the primary polluter developed countries apathy to take responsibility is unfair.
  3. Fund transfer: According to the Copenhagen Accord, $100 billion of finance a year will be available by 2020 to support climate action by developing countries. There would be no increment in this fund till 2025.
  4. Binding target: India heavily depends on coal and other fossil fuel for its energy requirement. Achieving target under these conditions will be a difficult task. Countries have declared their national target, but many developed groups have opposed against legal binding including the US and the EU.
  5. It is an undeniable fact that developed countries are responsible for current situation. Paris agreement has however diluted their responsibility.

Part 5 of this Series : Paris Agreement – Implications to India

Climate Change | Agreements

Part 1 of this Series : Climate Change | An Overview

International arrangements to combat climate change

When the dangers of climate change loomed over the world and the threat of unwarranted weather patterns, frequent floods and drought, warming of the oceans and other climate change vagaries came into the picture, the world woke up to realise its responsibilities towards nature. The first multilateral consensus gave birth to UNFCCC.

UNFCCC

UNFCC and Climate ChangeThe first multilateral initiative taken by the 195 participating countries of the United Nations came in the shape of United Nations Summit Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janerio in June, 1992. It cooperated on the issue regarding what they could do to limit average global temperature increases and resulting climate change. It adopted by consensus, the first multilateral legal instrument on Climate Change, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change or the ‘UNFCCC’. The UNFCCC secretariat support all institutions involved in the international climate change negotiations, particularly the Conference of Parties (CoP) and its subsidiary bodies.

NOTE : It should be noted that all the subsequent multilateral negotiations on different aspects of climate change, including both ‘mitigation’ and ‘adaptation’, are being held based on the principles and objectives set out by the UNFCCC.

Kyoto Protocol

Kyoto Protocol AdoptionBy 1995, countries realised that the emission reduction provisions in the Convention were inadequate in the fight against climate change. Subsequent negotiations followed and the final document released became the Kyoto Protocol (adopted in Japan on 11th December, 1997). Due to a complex ratification process, it entered into force on 16th February, 2005.

  • It ‘commits’ the industrialised countries (37 countries) to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions based on the principles of the Convention, whereas the UNFCCC convention merely ‘encouraged’ them to do so. It only binds the industrialised countries as it finds them responsible for the current high levels of GHGs (Green House Gases).
  • This principle of punishing industrialised countries with heavy burden became the central principle of all subsequent multilateral negotiations. It is known as ‘Common but Differentiated Responsibilities.
  • The target was set to reduce up to an average 5% emission reduction compared to 1990 levels over the five-year period of 2008-2012.
  • Kyoto Protocol introduced the concept of treating carbon dioxide as a ‘new commodity’ which means that although the developed countries are required to meet their emission reduction targets domestically, but they could also meet part of their targets through three “market-based mechanisms.
  1. Joint Implementation : Allowing countries with emission reduction target to earn emission reduction units (ERUs) from an emission reduction or emission removal project in another developed country. (Annex B Party – Annex B Party Joint Project Implementation) e,g, USA and UK enter into a Joint Implementation mechanism (Apple and British Petroleum) started a renewable energy project anywhere in the world towards their carbon commitment.
  2. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) : Allows a country with an emission-reduction commitment to implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries. Such projects can earn saleable certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2, which can be counted towards meeting Kyoto targets. e.g. Apple (USA) helps in funding a solar power project in Rajasthan (India) to power nearby villages, which otherwise would have been powered through thermal power plants that would have generated 4 tonnes of carbon dioxide in atmosphere. Hence, by funding this project, it would earn USA with 4 CERs which they can use as an offset in their emission reduction targets. They can also trade such carbon credits within their own economy or even internationally.
  3. Emission Trading/ ‘cap and trade’ : Emission permit is known alternatively as carbon credit. As the emission reduction targets assign a specific amount of carbon emissions allowed to the developed countries, hence the developed countries can emit the stipulated carbon emissions or trade the saved ones in the market. The units are expressed in terms of carbon-equivalent. Each unit gives the owner the right to emit one metric tonne of carbon dioxide or other equivalent GHGs. FOR EXAMPLE – If the US has emission targets of 100 tonnes and UK has the target of 50 tonnes but US emitted 102 tonnes whereas the UK emitted 45 tonnes. UK can sell the 2 units to the US to meet its emission reduction targets.

NOTE : Failure to comply Kyoto Protocol conditions carry penalties such as losing the privilege of gaining credit through Joint Implementation projects. If a country fails to comply with the conditions, it has to adhere to the exceeded emissions + 30% additional emission reduction targets during the next period. The country could also be banned from participating in the ‘cap and trade’ programme.

Bali Meet

Bali Meet on Climate Change

The meeting of 190 countries that are party to UN treaty to climate change. Bali meet stressed on the need of the developing countries to take the responsibility of emission reduction. Bali Road map includes –

  • The Bali Action Plan (BAP)
    1. Long term cooperation and commitment for emission reductions.
    2. Enhanced international/national action on mitigation.
    3. Enhanced action on adaptation.
    4. Technology transfer and development.
  • Ad Hoc Working Group : For further commitments for developed countries (Annex 1 parties) under the Kyoto Protocol negotiations and 2009 deadline.
  • Launch of ADAPTATION FUND
  • Decision on technology transfer.
  • Reducing emissions catapulted by deforestation.

Part 1 of this Series : Climate Change | An Overview

COP 21 – Climate Change Conference in Paris

COP 21 

COP 21 or the Climate change conference in United Nations was held at Paris in December 2015.  The world leaders deliberated and discussed ways to cut down carbon emissions and stop climate change. The COP 21 was attended by 150 world leaders to discuss new global agreements to mitigate effects of global warming and cut down carbon emissions

The main focus of COP 21 was to find solutions and limit the rise in global temperatures not more than 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial level.

COP21India played an important role in the COP 21 and vouched for climate justice. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for all nations with high emissions to assume ambitious targets and to allow developing nations to grow.

India has called for “Common goal; but common and differentiated responsibilities” according to the current status of the countries. It is notable that India’s emission, accounts for only 3% energy related carbon dioxide emissions. Moreover India did not specify a definite cap on its emissions. China also committed to reduce fossil fuel emissions by 2030

With increasing demand of power supply, India is likely to see an upsurge in the coal production in coming years. Mr. Modi during the COP 21 announced launch of solar alliance between 120 countries to expand solar power along with other renewable energy sources to counteract that. India aims to produce 175 GHz energy from renewable sources by 2022. Another way suggested was to increase the forest cover in India to absorb more carbon dioxide and to invent more technology to make it’s energy sector efficient. Climate financing (clean energy fund) from developed countries to harness renewable energy and cut down carbon emission was one of the ways forwards put up by Mr. Modi

RECENT EXAMPLES OF GLOBAL WARMING:

  • According to statistics Tibetian glacier known as roof top of the world known for its glaciers and its influence on world climate especially on monsoons is melting at a faster pace than expected.
  • The holy Namastu Lake in its vicinity has expanded by 50 sq km between 2000 and 2014. Experts say that rapidly increasing temperature is causing the increased glacier melting.
  • Glaciers in autonomous Tibetian region have shrunk by 15 % over the past 30 yrs
  • If melting continues at present rate 2/3 of the plateau’s glacier are likely to melt by 2050 impacting all nearby counties

Innovations in the Field of Science & Technology to curb Climate change and reach the Objectives of COP 21 

IISC SCIENTIST INVENTS NEW GENERATION TRANSISTORS

  • The tiny semiconductor device used to amplify or switch electronic signals and forms the building blocks of all electronic devices
  • Used in high speed devices like laptops and computers
  • But beyond 2018 almost all the present designs will become obsolete
  • IISC SCIENTIST Invented and demonstrated a new transistor design
  • Already patented with the phenomena of vertical tunneling where in electrons tunnels through vertical barrier and hetro junctions consisting interface between layers of dissimilar crystalline  semiconductor to transfer electrons.

ADVANTAGES:

  • 15 times less power requirement
  • Improved battery life
  • Smaller than state of the art
  • Improved chip performance
  • New design consumes lower voltage
  • Less charge in idle state

INTERNATIONAL CYCLOTHRON IN ORISSA

  • To emphasize on “ reducing the use of fuel driven vehicles” 200 organizations participated in Konark International Cyclotron in Odisha on 29th Nov 2015.
  • Representatives from various educational institutions, NGO’s , Corporate houses and Govt. institutions participated in 40 Km cycle run from Puri to Konark City to mark the event.

LED LIGHTS( HISTORY AND USAGE)

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  • Cheap and energy efficient
  • Better life span

History and evolution of LED lamps

  • 1907 captain Henry Joseph observed that light was generated when electricity was passes through silicon carbide . This phenomenon was called Electroluminescence but he did not give much attention to this work.
  • A few years later Russian scientist observed that diodes he used in radio receivers used light when electricity was passes through them. Published this theory in Russian journal.
  • Based on Einstein’s quantum mechanics he explained light emission as an inverse of photoelectric effect
  • His Work done paved way for development of LED technology.
  • In 1950 BRITISH made a diode based on infra red emission from gallium arsenide(first infrared LED’s)
  • Scientists in Texas later  in discovered first infra red emission diode ; they had  used gallium arsenide by using  laser based diode
  • First led for which they acquired

FUTURE

  • In coming years we can expect Carbonic led s with quantum led LED’s
  • Computer controlled ,zero thermal heating LED’s
  • Major component of green technology of future
  • LED to reduce global warming

It is noteworthy that US EMBASSY MONITORING STATION  has recently declared Delhi as most toxic smog area in the country. The Air quality index (Delhi) is 372 which is in the hazardous category