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Sunday, October 9, 2016

AIR spotlight summary on “India ratifies Paris climate Agreement” : Insights

Introduction
India ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change by depositing the instrument of ratification with the United Nations on the 147th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. India is the 62nd country to ratify the agreement. The agreement will enter into force one month after 55 countries that account for 55 percent of global emissions ratify the agreement.
Paris Agreement on Climate Change
  • This treaty which was agreed in Paris convention took 20 years to come to an agreement. There were divergent views, particularly among the industrialised countries and developing countries. Ironing out of differences took lot of time. The treaty has come out that there is auniversal need and acceptance that something has to be done to contain the rise of the global temperature within 2 degree centigrade.
  • For its operationalisation, the Paris Agreement requires the signing and ratification by at least 55 countries which together account for at least 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Both conditions need to be met. Once these conditions are fulfilled, the Agreement would come into effect regardless of the number of countries that remain outside. The Agreement only needs slightly more than 3 percentage points to reach the 55 per cent threshold.     
  • The Green Climate Fund is too small as compared to the needs and programmes that are envisaged. It is important that the developed countries should pass on the technology, knowhow, and wherewithal for having energy efficient technologies.
  • Kyoto protocol had an unfortunate fate. Countries have not adhered to their commitments and have full faulted on that. That is reason we find continuous CO2 emissions.
  • The COP-22 will be held in morocco. The information and the experience will be exchanged and get to know the ways and means to achieve the targets.
Significance of the ratification of Paris Agreement
  • This is been the major and seminal development to maintain the global climate and reducing the growing temperature which is really a great threat to the mankind, livelihood, health and productivity of the biosphere.
  • IPCC study says that beyond 2 degree centigrade rise of the earth’s temperature, then it would be difficult situation, irreversible and will go out of hand.
  • All the countries which have submitted their INDCs will be taken on board and they have the commitment to adhere to INDCs and take corresponding measures in their countries to meet those expected commitments. India has to work hard to achieve the commitments made.
India’s Role
  • 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.
  • NITI Ayog study says that with the growth scenario of 8%, our energy needs would grow and even then India won’t be high CO2 emitter. It would be much less than the global average. The global average would be 5 to 6 tonnes per capita while we would not exceed more than 4.4 tonnes.
  • India needs finance, technology and capacity building support. The climate finance goalsthat have been set have not yet been met.
  • India is working towards replacing fossil fuels with non fossil fuel sources and increasing the energy efficiency. More than 6.5 crores LED bulbs are distributed and this has resulted into more than 4000 MW of electricity saving and saving on per day expenditure. The greening of highways, where plantation of trees is envisaged which will sequester the CO2.
  • Industry is progressively improving on energy intensity. We have to continue to make our progress to achieve the targets and demonstrate to the public and world at large that we are able to do it.
  • India ratified the agreement on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi who led a simple life and who exemplified simplicity. Through this the world is getting a message that there is a need for change in life style particularly the developed world where their lifestyle is considered extravagant.
  • Without losing much it is possible to contain our energy use and emission of CO2. The underlying message of using this day is only to say that the idealism of Mahatma Gandhi is really helpful, provide a philosophical support and guide to contain our energy needs, at the same time improve the quality of life and welfare of the people.
  • The silver lining is that the prizes of solar energy is coming down which instils hope to make faster progress. The targets on generating energy through renewable has to be revised upwards.

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