Topic – climate change
7) Tackling climate change requires all countries to iron out the issues in framing the rulebook to implement pledges that were made by various countries at the Paris Climate Conference in 2015. Examine. (250 words)
Why this question
The framing of the rulebook for tackling climate change in COP 24 is an important step being undertaken to tackle climate change. Hence we need to know the issues involved therein.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to explain about the major issues that are impeding the framing of the rulebook and what needs to be done.
Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Explain that the world is in deep trouble. Average global temperatures have crossed a degree Celsius above preindustrial levels and such concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere (410 ppm) has never been seen by humans before. The 24th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Katowice, Poland (December 3-14) is meant to take forward steps to address this threat of climate change.
- Explain the macro issue – The purpose of the meeting is to set guidelines, or agree on a rulebook, to implement pledges that were made by various countries at the Paris Climate Conference in 2015. In the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), planned ahead of the Paris COP-21, each country described the actions it would take and the levels to which greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions would be reduced (mitigation). Many of them also described what they would do to improve their capacity to live in a warmer world (adaptation), and the extent to which these goals required support in the form of finance or technology transfer. Framing these rules has several issues involved.
- Discuss the issues involved
- Framing the rulebook means agreeing on such things as common standards to measure emissions, processes for monitoring, reporting and verification (‘MRV’ in climate jargon) of the various actions being taken by individual countries, and guidelines and institutions to facilitate diffusion of appropriate technologies to countries and regions that need them. It also means putting in place clear and transparent accounting mechanisms to measure and verify flows of climate finance.
- track record of the developed countries in fulfilling their finance commitments has been disappointing. They have often been accused by developing countries of double-counting, inflating claims, re-packaging existing aid money as climate finance, and ignoring the requirements of adaptation activities. Developing countries insist that climate finance must be “new and additional” and must be provided for mitigation as well as adaptation efforts as mentioned in the Paris Agreement.
- Countries with average income exceeding $15,000 typically have the capacity and finance and technology to reduce their emissions dramatically. They must also alter their lifestyles considerably, which is required for the transformational change that the 1.5 Degree Report calls for.
- separate stream referred to as “loss and damage” needs attention. This is a provision for support to poor countries experiencing economic and non-economic losses and destruction from climate change events. There has not been much progress on this issue by the task force set up to advance it.
- Explain how the issue is attempted to be resolved at COP24 and what the next course of action should be
Conclusion – Emphasize on the necessity of coming to an agreement as soon as possible for mitigating and adapting to climate change.