carbon capture Current Affairs - 2020

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UN Climate Summit concludes

The longest climate talks in the history of United Nations that was held in Madrid, Spain, ended on December 15, 2019. The climate summit ended without crucial agreement on carbon market rules of the Paris Agreement.

Highlights

The key issues that was aimed to get resolved at the summit was the regulation of carbon market. Carbon market puts prices on carbon dioxide emission. However, no conclusion was reached and the issue is to be taken at the next summit to be held at Glasgow in 2020. The summit failed to reach an agreement on the implementation of Article 6 of Paris Agreement.

The United Nations Environment Programme released its Emission Gap Report at the summit. Also, the report of Global Carbon Project was tabled at the summit.

The Presidency of the summit, Chile (though summit was held at Madrid, Spain), launched the Climate Ambition Alliance.

Article 6 of Paris Agreement

The article 6 aims at promoting approaches to implement the NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions) through voluntary international cooperation. It also establishes a trading system where in the countries with low emission are allowed to sell their exceeding allowance to countries with larger emissions.

Issue

Last year at the COP24, countries US, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Russia refused to welcome the IPCC 1.5C report. This year majority of the members are not willing to reduce their emissions at the pace suggested by the conference. According to World Resources Institute NDC tracker, only 80 countries have so far submitted proposals to enhance their NDCs. These countries are primarily small and developing. They represent only 10.5% of the world population.

European Investment Bank to stop Fossil Fuel Funding by 2021

The European Investment Bank is to stop funding oil and coal projects at the end of 2021. Since 2013, the European Union through the bank has funded 13.4 billion Euros for fossil fuel projects. In 2018, it was around 2 billion Euros. The Union has been reducing its funding to fossil fuel projects and is stopping by 2021.

Highlights

  • The EIB’s new policy demands that the energy projects applying for funding must prove that they can produce 1 Kilo watt hour of energy emitting less than 250 grams of carbon dioxide.
  • The new rules being adopted are not applicable to gas-based energy projects. However, gas projects should be based on the norms set by the bank for “new technologies”. The “new technologies” include carbon capture, combining heat and power generation, mixing in renewable gases with fossil fuels, etc.
  • The exemptions are made on gas projects as they are common in the EU member states. For the next 5 years, EU has over 200 billion USD worth projects planned.

EU aims to become first carbon-neutral continent by 2050.