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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS : Responsibility and the complexities of climate leadership

 

Source: The Hindu

 

  • Prelims: Current events of international importance, COP, IPCC, G20 etc
  • Mains GS Paper II: Bilateral, regional and global grouping and agreements involving India or affecting India’s interests, Important international institutions etc

 

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • A letter from United States and European parliamentarians calling for removal of President-Designate of COP28, Minister Sultan Al Jaber on the grounds that he is CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company

                         

INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE

Context

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC):

  • It is the international body for assessing the science related to climate change.
  • It was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.
  • IPCC assessments provide a scientific basis for governments at all levels to develop climate related policies, and they underlie negotiations at the UN Climate Conference – the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

 

 

Bangladesh and the Maldives:

  • Representatives of developing countries in the climate change front line, i.e., and as leaders of the Climate Vulnerable Forum.
    • A group of 58 of the world’s most climate vulnerable countries.
  • Climate-related economic losses of $500 billion in the last two decades alone.

 

Journey towards a clean energy future:

  • Fossil fuel-dependent economies are critical to these efforts
  • Avoid division and continue to engage fellow parties at COP28 and elsewhere on the best way forward for their economies and for the planet.
  • Sultan Al-Jaber has led Masdar: Renewable energy company made huge investments in solar and wind projects.
  • The UAE’s Barakah nuclear power plant generates 6 gigawatts of clean power.
  • Masdar and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) signed an agreement aiming to triple global renewable energy capacity by 2030.

 

Finance for COP28:

  • Climate Prosperity Plans, including the Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan adopted in Bangladesh: It seeks to generate inward investment of tens of trillions of dollars in building clean energy infrastructure.
  • Climate prosperity agenda recognises that economic growth for the poorest countries is non-negotiable,

 

What developing nations are seeking?

  • Seeking electricity, transport and industry, all of which can now be increasingly delivered with clean energy.
  • Seek the UAE’s leadership in helping secure investments supported by sovereign wealth funds and multilateral development banks.
    • It can deliver a huge boost in climate prosperity.

 

Why Debt is a barrier?

  • Many of the nations are crippled by unsustainable debts.
  • It includes debts which are becoming unplayable due to climate damages largely caused by emissions elsewhere.
  • There is a need for a collective approach which recognises the debt problem and the barrier it now poses to clean energy investment and climate adaptation.
  • Sovereign wealth funds and multilateral development banks (MDBs): It could assist in de-risking restructured debts and insuring re-issued climate bonds.

 

Loss and damage:

  • It refers to costs the rich and developed countries, who are majorly responsible for industrial emissions, should pay to poorer nations(made negligible contribution to pollution) but are more vulnerable to extreme climate events –
    • For example: the devastating floods in Pakistan
  • Polluter Pays” principle: It makes the polluter liable for paying not just for the cost of remedial action, but also for compensating the victims of environmental damage caused by their actions.
  • Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) for Loss and Damages(2013): It was the first formal acknowledgment of the need to compensate developing countries struck by climate disasters.

 

Way Forward

  • The Loss and Damage fund secured in Sharm El-Sheikh must not be just another empty bank account.
    • Fossil fuels-dependent economies can demonstrate their commitment to a shared future by making subscriptions to support funding for climate damages in the most vulnerable countries, well in advance of the COP.
  • There are no winners and losers in a global climate breakdown, the oil industry included.
    • Representatives of the most climate vulnerable developing nations should call on American and European parliamentarians to reconsider their position.
  • Holding COP28 in the UAE(Sultan Al-Jaber as COP President-Designate): It may be an opportunity to engage the fossil fuels industry to make some significant and quantifiable commitments to emissions cuts and climate action in general.
  • We all need to work together to save the 5(one point five)°C Paris target before it is too late.

 

QUESTION FOR PRACTICE

Describe the major outcomes of the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). What are the commitments made by the India conference? (UPSC 2021) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)