(Daily News Scan - DNS English) COP 25 Agenda

(Daily News Scan - DNS English) COP 25 Agenda

Important Points:

The annual two week climate change conference COP25 has begun in Madrid. A lot of reports from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other agencies have been retelling that unless the countries increase the actions to protect the environment there is very little hope of keeping average global temperatures within 2oC higher than pre industrial trends.

In this DNS we will know about COP25 and its agenda this year.

The most recent warning and concern that have been raised are from the reports issued by the UNEP’S Emission Gap Report. The aspired target of keeping average temperatures within 1.5oC from pre industrial times is on the brink of becoming impossible. To achieve the target global green house gas emission by 2030 should not be more than 25 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. But the current rate of growth of emissions project to touch 56 billion tonnes by that time which is more than twice what it should be.

Therefore the world needs to reduce emission by atleast 7.6% every year from the present year till 2030. The World Meteorological Organization has pointed out that atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide and other green house gases reached new records in 2018.

The countries are meeting in Madrid to talk about scaling up their efforts and announcing some additional measures for tackling the temperature issue and also to negotiate on settling the unresolved issue of the Paris Agreement rulebook. The rulebook contains the processes, mechanisms and institutions through which the provision of the Paris Agreement would be implemented. It was finalised last year but few of the issues had remained unresolved and had left for negotiators to settle over next year. The most important issue here is to resolve the tussle over new carbon markets to be created under the Paris Agreement.

A carbon markets permits countries and industries to earn carbon credits for emission reduction they make in excess of what is required of them. These credits can later be traded in exchange for money to the highest bidder. The buyers of the carbon credits can show the emission reduction as their own and use them to meet their emission reduction targets.

There is one carbon market which already existed under the 1997 KYOTO PROTOCOL. Most of the countries walked out of the protocol in the last decade and no one was feeling compelled to meet their emission reduction targets which led to decline in the demand for carbon credit. As a result developing countries like India, China and Brazil have accumulated a huge number of carbon credits which are in danger of getting redundant.

The resistance is going over the issue of accumulated carbon credits. Brazil is arguing to make the accumulated carbon credits valid in the new carbon market as well. But the developed countries are opposing this on the claims that the weak verification mechanisms under the KYOTO Protocol had allowed suspicious projects to earn credits. India has also accumulated around 750 million certified emission reductions and is fully supporting Brazil in this concern. The solution to this tussle is the key to success of the Madrid meeting. Apart from this issue there are several others pending, like those related to ensuring transparency in the process and methods of reporting information.

The Madrid conference will mainly be watched for the resolve that countries show in scaling up their efforts to fight climate change. There has been growing pressure on countries to do more in the last few months. This pressure has resulted with few countries to take some serious actions and commitments to long term action plans. Till now 70 countries mostly the small emitters have committed themselves to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Estimations are there that few more countries will join hands and make similar commitment at the Madrid conference. However India and China are claiming that their current efforts have already more than required.

Whereas the rich and developed countries which are more responsible for the climate change are doing very les of their efforts especially when the less developed countries need their financial and technological support.

The European Union has declared Climate emergency. It will have more symbolic effect than practical impact and designed to Pressure European Union government to adopt a commitment to reduce emission at net zero.
Apart from Europe only Canada, Argentina and Bangladesh have declared climate emergency.

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