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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS : A Climate Question For G20

 

 

Source: Indian Express

 

  • Prelims: Current events of international importance, G20, Global south, Inflation etc.
  • Mains GS Paper II & III: Bilateral, regional and global grouping and agreements involving India or affecting India’s interests.

 

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Chandrayaan-3’s successful landing on the moon, and this quarter’s (Q1FY24) GDP growth rate of 8(seven point eight) percent, will bolster India’s image in the upcoming G20 final meetings, scheduled on September 9-10.

Current Affairs

INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE

Context

G20:

  • The G20 is an informal group:19 countries and the European Union, with representatives of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
  • The G20 Presidency rotates annually: according to a system that ensures a regional balance over time.
  • For the selection of the presidency: 19 countries are divided into 5 groups, each having no more than 4 countries.
    • The presidency rotates between each group.
  • Every year the G20 selects a country from another group to be president.
    • India is in Group 2 which also has Russia, South Africa, and Turkey.
  • The G20 does not have a permanent secretariat or Headquarters.

 

Recent steps by G20 members:

  • G-20 members have shown a degree of commitment to shift towards clean energy:
    • Renewable energy sources provided 29% of their energy mix in 2021, an increase from 19% in 2010.
  • The G-20 members emit most of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and produce the bulk of its fossil fuels.
    • Most members have pledged to be “net-zero”, cutting back on emissions and fossil fuel use.

 

Deccan High-Level Principles:

  • It was outlined in the ‘Outcome Document and Chair’s Summary’ of the Agriculture Working Group (AWG) of G20 nations that was held at Hyderabad.
  • The Deccan High-Level Principles are:
    • Facilitate humanitarian assistance to countries and populations in vulnerable situations
    • Enhance availability and access to nutritious food and strengthen food safety nets
    • Strengthen policies and collaborative actions for climate-resilient and sustainable agriculture and food systems
    • Strengthen resilience and inclusivity in agriculture and food value chains
    • Promote the one health approach
    • Accelerate innovation and the use of digital technology
    • Scale-up responsible public and private investments in agriculture.

 

Agriculture Working Group (AWG) of G20:

  • The AWG of G20 highlighted priority areas to encourage diversification in agriculture, promoting sustainable agriculture
  • Channeling financial resources towards environmentally conscious and climate-resilient farming.
  • Adopting climate-smart farming practices and precision technologies for agricultural production to withstand climate fluctuations.
  • AWG’s proceedings highlight the need to promote food and nutritional security via higher investment in agri-R&D, especially biofortification.
  • Encouraging research in biofortification and disseminating information on fortified crop varieties to farmers is key to achieving nutritional security.
  • The AWG highlights the “significance of strengthening a rules-based, open, predictable, transparent, non-discriminatory, inclusive, equitable and sustainable multilateral trading system”.
  • It emphasizes working together to improve our food systems by strengthening local, regional, and international agri-food value chains.
    • This can lead to affordable and accessible food, agricultural inputs, and products.
    • A sustainable multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core, can increase market predictability and boost business confidence.

 

Steps by ICAR:

  • ICAR scientists demonstrated that even basic staple crops such as wheat, rice, maize, and millet can be bio-fortified with enhanced iron, zinc, and even anti-oxidants.
  • ICAR has created 87 varieties of climate-resistant and nutritious crops.
  • These crops include
    • rice (8)
    • wheat (28)
    • maize (14)
    • pearl millet (9)
    • finger millet (3)
    • small millet (1)
    • lentil (2)
    • groundnut (2)
    • linseed (1)
    • mustard (6)
    • soybean (5)
    • cauliflower (1)
    • potato (2)
    • sweet potato (2)
    • greater yam (2)
    • pomegranate (1) varieties
  • They were developed as a result of collaboration between national and international organizations.

 

What can India do?

  • India can demonstrate the application of precision technologies in space
    • With Chandrayaan-3 by spending a fraction of the cost that the US would incur for the same feat
  • It could share these technologies with other countries of the Global South.
  • Enhance the efficiency and resilience of agri-value chains and promote digitisation as a catalyst for agricultural transformation.
  • Establishment of standardized agricultural data platforms as digital public goods and harnessing novel digital technologies to revolutionize the agri-food sector.
  • Sensor-equipped drips, drones and LEOs (Low Earth Orbits) can be used in agriculture to get “more from less”, saving the planet’s scarce resources.
  • The dissemination of research to the Global South is equally important for India.
  • India has released zinc-rich rice and wheat, which can be shared with countries of the Global South.
  • Biofortification is much more cost-effective compared to supplementing rice with nutrients, say iron, in our public distribution system.
    • But India spends only 0.48(zero point four eight)percent of agri-GDP on agri-R&D.
    • This needs to be doubled, if the country has to play the role of a leader.

 

Way Forward

  • The Prime Minister is likely to announce India’s emergence on the global stage during this Amrit Kaal up to 2047, making science and economy deliver for humanity at large under the philosophy of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ – One Earth, One Family, One Future.
  • India would surely like to bring millets to the fore, even on the dining tables of G20 members.
    • But much more product innovation and dissemination is needed to make it a part of global cuisine
  • Is it possible for India to turn this aspirational framework into a reality by re-thinking its agri-policies to prioritize the well-being of people and the planet.
  • Current policies of open-ended and assured procurement with Minimum Support Price (MSP) for paddy and wheat is coupled with massive subsidies on fertilizers, power, and irrigation
    • It has caused damage to our natural resources, especially soil, water, air, and biodiversity.
    • India needs to re-purpose agri-policies to a more environmentally sustainable and nutritious food system.

 

QUESTION FOR PRACTICE

The long sustained image of India as a leader of the oppressed and marginalized nations has disappeared on account of its new found role in the emerging global order.’ Elaborate(UPSC 2019) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)