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UNFCCC

Shankar IAS Summary: Climate Change Organizations- 1 | Famous Books for UPSC Exam (Summary & Tests)

  • UN Summit Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janerio in June 1992 adopted, by consensus, the first multilateral legal instrument on Climate Change, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change or the UNFCCC. There are now 198 Parties (197 States and 1 regional economic integration organization).
  • All subsequent multilateral negotiations on different aspects of climate change, including both adaptation and mitigation, are being held based on the principles and objectives set out by the UNFCCC.

KYOTO PROTOCOL (KP): COP-3

  • To strengthen the global response to climate change
  • The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto Japan, on 11 December 1997. Due to a complex ratification process, it entered into force on 16 Feb 2005 Kyoto Protocol is what "operationalizes” the Convention.
  • It commits industrialized countries to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions based on the principles of the Convention.
  • The major distinction between the Protocol and the Convention is that while the Convention encouraged industrialized countries to stabilize GHG emissions, the Protocol commits them to do sets binding emission reduction targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community in its first commitment period.
  • It only binds developed countries
  • KP places a heavier burden on developed nations under its central principle: that of "common but differentiated responsibility 
  • These targets add up to an average five percent emissions reduction compared to 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008 to 2012

Shankar IAS Summary: Climate Change Organizations- 1 | Famous Books for UPSC Exam (Summary & Tests)

Shankar IAS Summary: Climate Change Organizations- 1 | Famous Books for UPSC Exam (Summary & Tests)

Shankar IAS Summary: Climate Change Organizations- 1 | Famous Books for UPSC Exam (Summary & Tests)

KP is made up of:

  • Reporting and verification procedures; 
  • Flexible market-based mechanisms, which in turn have their own governance procedures; 
  • A compliance system.

So, two things make KP tick

  • Emissions Reduction Commitments:
    (i) The first was binding emissions reduction commitments for developed country parties. This meant the space to pollute was limited.
    (ii) Carbon dioxide, became a new commodity. KP now began to internalize what was now recognized as an unpriced externality.
  • Flexible Market Mechanisms:
    (i) Joint Implementation (JI)
    (ii) The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
    (iii) Emission Trading

Shankar IAS Summary: Climate Change Organizations- 1 | Famous Books for UPSC Exam (Summary & Tests)

The objectives of Kyoto mechanisms:

  • Stimulate sustainable development through technology transfer and investment
  • Help countries with Kyoto commitments to meet their targets by reducing emissions or removing carbon from the atmosphere in other countries in a cost-effective way
  • Encourage the private sector and developing countries to contribute to emission reduction efforts

Joint Implementation

  • Allows a country with an emission reduction or limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol to earn emission reduction units (ERUs) from an emission-reduction or emission removal project in another Annex B Party, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2, which can be counted towards meeting its Kyoto target.
  • Projects stalling as from the year 2000 may be eligible as J1 projects, ERU issued from 2008

Clean Development mechanism:

  • Allows a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B Party) to implement an emission-reduction project in developing Countries.
  • It is the first global, environmental investment and credit scheme of its kind,
  • 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

Example:

  • A CDM project activity might involve, for example, a rural electrification project using solar Panels or the installation of more energy-efficient boilers.
  • The Mechanism stimulates sustainable development and emission reductions, while giving industrialized countries some flexibility in how they meet their emission reduction or limitation targets 
  • Most of the CDM projects were implemented in China and India as climate in these countries is favourable for implementing projects for almost all the spheres

Carbon Trading:
The name given to the exchange of emission permits. This exchange may take place within the economy or may take the form of international transaction.

Two types of Carbon trading

  • Emission trading- Emission permit is known alternatively as carbon credit 
  • Offset trading- Another variant of carbon credit is to be earned by a country by investing some amount of money in such projects, known as carbon projects, which will emit lesser amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere

Non-Compliance of Kyoto And Penalties

  • If a country does not meet the requirements for measurements and reporting said country looses the privilege of gaining credit through joint implementation projects. 
  • If a country goes above its emissions cap, and does not try to make up the difference through any of the mechanisms available, then said country must make up the difference plus an additional thirty percent during the next period. 
  • The country could also be banned from participating in the "cap and trade' program.

BALI MEET

  • Bali Meet was the meeting of 190 countries that are party to a UN treaty on climate change held in December 2007.
  • To discuss what happens after 2012-what are countries expected to do after the first phase of Kyoto ends in 2012.

Bali Road Map includes

  • The Bali Action Plan (BAP)
  • The Ad Hoc working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol negotiations and their 2009 deadline
  • Launch of the Adaptation Fund, Decisions on technology transfer and On reducing emissions from deforestation.

Bali Action Plan (BAP)

  • A shared vision for long-term cooperative action, including a long-term global goal for emission reductions. 
  • Enhanced national/international action on mitigation of climate change. Enhanced action on adaptation.
  • Enhanced action on technology development and transfer to support action on mitigation and adaptation. 
  • Enhanced action on the provision of financial resources and investment to support action on mitigation and adaptation and technology cooperation.

COP 15 COPENHAGEN SUMMIT- The summit concluded with the CoP taking a note of Copenhagen Accord (a five-nation accord- BASIC and US).

  • The Copenhagen Accord is a non-binding agreement.
  • Developed countries (Annex-1) agree to set targets for reductions in their greenhouse gas emissions by 2020
  • Developing countries agree to pursue nationally appropriate mitigation strategies to slow the growth of their emissions, but are not committed to reducing their carbon output.
  • Developed countries would raise funds of $30 billion from 2010-2012 for new and additional resources Agrees a "goal" for the world to raise $100 billion per year by 2020. New multilateral funding for adaptation will be delivered, with a governance structure.

COP 16 CANCUN SUMMIT

  • All Parties to the Convention (including the developed and developing countries) have agreed to report their voluntary mitigation goals for implementation
  • Decisions were taken at Cancun to set up a Green Climate Fund, a Technology Mechanism, and an Adaptation Committee at global level to support developing
  • Country actions for adaptation and mitigation process to design a 'Green Climate Fund'

MECHANISM OF COP 16

  • Technology mechanism in 16th session of the COP in Cancun 20101 Facilitate the implementation of enhanced action-on technology development and transfer in order to support action on mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
  • Green climate fund will support projects, programme, policies and other activities in developing country Parties. The Fund will be governed by the GCF Board. The World Bank was invited to serve as the interim trusteed 
  • The Adaptation Fund was established to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing country Parties to the Kyoto Protocol that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. Financed from the share of proceeds on the clean development mechanism project activities.
  • Adaptation committee 
    (i) Providing technical support and guidance to the Parties
    (ii) Sharing of relevant information, knowledge, experience and good practices
    (iii) Promoting synergy and strengthening engagement with national, regional and international organizations, centers and networks.
    (iv) Considering information communicated by Parties on their monitoring and review of adaptation actions, support provided and received

COP 17 DURBAN SUMMIT
India had gone to Durban with two major demands that the principle of equity remain intact in any new climate regime and that this new global deal is launched after 2020.

Outcome

  • New deal is to be finalized by 2015 and launched by 2020
  • Second phase of Kyoto Protocol secured Green Climate Fund launched, though empty a§ yet Green-tech development mechanism put in place

Equity finds place back in future climate talks

  • Adaptation mechanism
  • Transparency mechanism
  • India regains leadership of developing world, Wins on all its important non-negotiable
  • Common but differentiated responsibility principle retained. India Secures 10 years of economic growth without carbon containment Intellectual Property Rights and technology not as well anchored in new deal Loopholes for developed world not fully blocked
  • Agriculture brought in by developed nations under climate change

REDD & REDD

  • REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is the global endeavor to create an incentive for developing countries to protect, better manage and save their forest resources, thus contributing to the global fight against climate change.
  • REDD + goes beyond merely. Checking deforestation and forest degradation, and includes incentives for positive elements of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks. 
  • REDD + conceptualizes flow of positive incentives' for demonstrated reduction in deforestation or for enhancing quality and expanse of forest cover. 
  • India has made a submission to UNFCCC on "REDD, Sustainable Management of Forest! SMF) and Afforestation and Reforestation, (A&R)" in December 2008

THE GEF (Global Environment Facility)
To function under the guidance of the UNFCCC COP and be accountable to the COP established in 1991 by the world Bank in consultation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), to provide funding to protect the global environment

The GEF now has six focal areas:

  • Biological diversity;
  • Climate change;
  • International waters;
  • Land degradation, primarily desertification and deforestation;
  • Ozone layer depletion; and
  • Persistent organic pollutants.

CLIMATE-SMART AGRICULTURE

  • While agriculture is the sector most vulnerable to climate change, it is also a major cause, directly accounting for about 14 percent of greenhouse gas emissions (IPCC 2007). 
  • This is called the 'triple win': interventions that Would increase yields (poverty reduction and food Security), make yields more resilient in the face extremes (adaptation), and make the farm a solution to the climate change problem rather than part of the problem (mitigation).
  • These triple wins are likely to require a package of interventions and be country-and locality specific in their application. This method of practicing agriculture is called Climate Smart Agriculture

INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON CLIMATE CHANGE (PCC)

  • Established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide the governments of the world with a clear scientific view of what is happening to the world’s climate.
  • Headquarters in Geneva. Currently, 195 countries are members of the IPCC
  • The IPCC is a scientific body. It reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socioeconomic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change. It does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate-related data or parameters

Key AR5 cross-cutting themes will be:

  • Water and the Earth System: Change, Impacts and Responses; 
  • Carbon Cycle including Ocean Acidification;
  • Ice Sheets and Sea-Level Rise; 
  • Mitigation, Adaptation and Sustainable Development; and Article 2 of the UNFCCC.

NATIONAL GREEN HOUSE GAS INVENTORIES PROGRAMME (NGGIP)

  • The IPCC established the NGGIP, 
  • To provide methods for estimating-national inventories of greenhouse gas emissions too, and removals from, the atmosphere.

GREEN ECONOMY

  • The "Green Economy can be considered synonymous with a ’sustainable’ economy.
  • However, the Green Economy concept often carries a more distinctive meaning Green economy focuses specifically on the fundamental changes that are required to ensure that economic systems are made more sustainable.
  • Green Economy focuses on the ways to overcome the deeply rooted causes of unsustainable economic development.
  • A Green Economy is one whose growth in income and employement is driven by public and private investments that reduce carbon emissions and pollution, enhance energy and resource efficiency, and prevent the loss of biodiversity and ecosystems

Three priorities in transition of economy to green economy are

  • Decarbonizes the economy;
  • commit the environmental community to justice and equity; and
  • Conserve the biosphere.

The document Shankar IAS Summary: Climate Change Organizations- 1 | Famous Books for UPSC Exam (Summary & Tests) is a part of the UPSC Course Famous Books for UPSC Exam (Summary & Tests).
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FAQs on Shankar IAS Summary: Climate Change Organizations- 1 - Famous Books for UPSC Exam (Summary & Tests)

1. What is the role of UNFCCC in addressing climate change?
Ans. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international treaty that aims to prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system. It provides a framework for international cooperation to combat climate change, including the negotiation of binding commitments for greenhouse gas reductions.
2. What is the significance of the Kyoto Protocol (KP) in climate change discussions?
Ans. The Kyoto Protocol (KP) is an international agreement under the UNFCCC that sets binding emission reduction targets for developed countries. It was the first global effort to address climate change through legally binding commitments. The KP established a market-based mechanism called the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to incentivize emission reductions in developing countries.
3. How does Climate-Smart Agriculture contribute to climate change mitigation?
Ans. Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) is an approach that aims to increase agricultural productivity, enhance resilience to climate change, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It involves the adoption of practices such as conservation agriculture, agroforestry, and precision farming, which can sequester carbon, reduce emissions from agriculture, and improve the overall sustainability of farming systems.
4. What is the role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in climate change research?
Ans. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a scientific body established by the UNFCCC to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts, and potential mitigation options. It conducts comprehensive reviews of the latest scientific literature and produces assessment reports that serve as a key reference for climate change policymaking.
5. How does the National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Programme (NGGIP) help countries in measuring and reporting their emissions?
Ans. The National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Programme (NGGIP) is a collaborative effort by countries under the UNFCCC to develop and improve methodologies for estimating national greenhouse gas emissions and removals. It provides guidance and training to countries in assessing and reporting their emissions, which is crucial for tracking progress towards emission reduction targets and facilitating international cooperation on climate change.
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