Climate change meet in Bonn

Kashmir Times. Dated: 11/9/2017 11:41:03 PM

The 2015 targets should be kept in focus during the Bonn meet on climate change, despite the US reversal

Giving practical shape to the provisions of the Paris Agreement of 2015 is a challenging task before the world leaders during the 23rd conference of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change being held at Bonn in Germany. The meeting also faces the challenge of raising the ambition of the world leaders for reducing the Greenhouse Gases in their respective by adhering to the planned reduction of emissions through adoption of green technologies in the next one decade or so. This is in line with the UN convention which attempts to make the planet a liveable place for the human around the globe in the decades to come. This is being spearheaded by more 169 countries which have ratified the accord and there is tremendous support for greener, low risk ways and means to growth worldwide. But, unfortunately, the Donald Trump administration in United States, one of the top emitters of Greenhouse Gases in the world, has announced withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. In fact, the main reason for withdrawal on the part of US is its refusal to allow transfer of technology to the developing countries at mutually agreed costs. The US wants to have the lion's share for technology transfer in this process for reduction of emission standards for its own energy companies and the Third World countries. This is not acceptable to majority of the countries, which want US participation in a big way for checking emissions so that the climate on the planet is not adversely impacted. Even if it will take until 2020 to achieve an actual withdrawal, the US action reverses the overall momentum achieved in Paris in 2015, and negates President Barack Obama's legacy of regulations designed to reduce America's GHG emissions, especially from the use of coal. It is noteworthy that China, which has achieved rapid economic growth and leads in GHG emissions, is firmly behind the pact to reduce the risk of climate change. There is steady progress in the growth of renewable energy sources as they become cheaper and the efficiency of solar, wind and energy storage technologies improves. As UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa has said, the time is now to firm up the tasks set out in the agreement reached in Paris, particularly on finances to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The Agreement has a benchmark of raising $100 billion a year by 2020 so that the funds can be put to practical use around the world.
Serious risks posed by the climate change, for example extreme weather conditions, loss of agriculture, extreme pressure on water resources and harm to human health, pose a threat to millions around the world. For some countries particularly the island nation-states, the future is a cause for worry because of the fear that sea levels may rise sharply due to changing climate patterns. The UN figures in the recent past on Emissions Gap Report point out a mismatch between the voluntary pledges made by the countries for the Paris Agreement and what is necessary to keep the rising temperature below 2 degrees Celsius. The countries, which have depleted their the global carbon budget by releasing massive amounts of Greenhouse Gases since the industrial revolution, have to respond with stricter cap in their updated pledges under the Paris Agreement. So far as India's case is concerned, the emissions have been rising overall, but it has committed itself to lowering the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35% by 2030 from the 2005 level. By some estimates, India has been awarded among the highest levels of multilateral climate funding at $745 million since 2013. Securing funds for mitigation and adaptation is a high priority for India, but it must ensure that its states acquire the capacity to absorb such assistance efficiently. India's emphasis on a giant renewable energy programme has won global acclaim till the Paris Agreement was signed, the focus is equally on country's readiness to embrace green technologies across the spectrum of activity, including buildings and transport. The slowdown in embracing new technologies under the NDA-government needs to be reviewed so that green technologies are adopted in real timeframe fixed for this purpose. The tall claims of the present government on plans formulated for this purpose need to be implemented on the ground to achieve the desired results.



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