COP-25 Current Affairs - 2020

UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2019

Recently released United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report-2019 warns that the Earth’s average temperature may rise by 3.2 degrees Celsius by 2100. Moreover, despite all scientific warnings and political commitments emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) couldn’t decrease globally.

The report was released prior to United Nations Climate Conference (COP-25) to be held in Spain from 2 December 2019. It states that GHG emissions have increased by 1.5% since last decade and that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have reached an all-time high figure of 55.3 gigatons.

Key Findings of UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2019

China, United States of America (USA), European Union (28) and India are among the top four greenhouse gas emitters.

India: UNEP report highlights that India is regularly considering deadlines and targets to curb carbon emissionAs per the report, India’s per capita emission is one of the lowest within G20 countries. Also, India is one of the leading countries that are looking for electric vehicle development.

Globally:

The report suggested that only if Green House Gas (GHG) emissions are reduced by 7.6% every year during 2020 to 2030 period, only then the target of reducing global temperature can be achieved.

As per the report, the largest GHG contribution comes from energy sector and its fossil fuel emissions. Thus to achieve the target of limiting temperature rise to no more than 1.5 ° C, all countries must reduce GHG emissions by up to 5 times.

The report also highlights that if global temperature reaches at level of 1.5 degrees then coral reefs would be reduced by 70-90%. It also clarifies that by 2100, the world would be warmer 3.2 degrees that pre-industrial level.

Key Recommendations of Emissions Gap Report 2019

The report suggested that each country has own unique opportunities to protect livelihood, natural resources and lives. Moreover, Complete de-carbonization of energy sector is possible and necessary. With renewable energy electricity, the emission reduction can achieve a target of 12.1 gigatonnes (GT) by 2050. Also, the electrification of transport can also help to reduce carbon emission up to 72% by 2050.

 

Madrid to host COP 25

The Spanish capital city of Madrid will be hosting the world’s annual climate conference, called COP-25 (Conference of the Parties) from 2 to 13 December 2019. This decision was taken following Chile’s stepping down as host for the COP-25 event due to the ongoing street protests in South American country.

Key Highlights

The decision came just a day after the acting Spanish government issued a communique that indicated Spain would be willing to host the conference.  Later, the hosting country was confirmed by Patricia Espinosa, the executive secretary for UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The COP25 was earlier scheduled to take place in Santiago for two weeks from 3 December 2019.

What is Conference of the Parties (COP)?

The COP is the supreme decision-making body of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). All States that are Parties to Convention are represented at COP which meets every year, unless the Parties decide otherwise. The COP meets in Bonn (the seat of UNFCCC secretariat), unless a Party offers to host its session. The first COP meeting was held on March 1995 in Berlin, Germany.

At the COP the Parties review the implementation of Convention and any other legal instruments that COP adopts and take decisions necessary for promoting effective implementation of Convention, which includes institutional as well as administrative arrangements.

COP Presidency rotates among 5 recognized UN regions, namely, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Western Europe and Others. There is also a tendency that the COP venue also shifts among these groups.

COP Conference: The annual summit is a key event which allows representatives from about 200 countries to monitor as well as discuss current situation of world’s warming climate.