Green House Gas Emissions Current Affairs - 2019
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The Global Environment Outlook (GEO) is the UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) flagship environmental assessment. The first publication was in 1997 and was originally requested by the Member States. The Global Environment Outlook Report 2019 is the sixth edition.
Findings of the Report
- The report notes that a quarter of all premature deaths and diseases worldwide are due to manmade pollution and environmental damage.
- The report warns that deadly emissions, chemicals polluting drinking water, and the accelerating destruction of ecosystems crucial to the livelihoods of billions of people are driving a worldwide epidemic that hampers the global economy.
- The report highlights the growing divide between rich and poor as rampant overconsumption, pollution and food waste in the developed world leads to hunger, poverty and disease elsewhere.
- The report notes that as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise amid a preponderance of droughts, floods and superstorms made worse by climbing sea levels, there is a growing political consensus that climate change poses a future risk to billions.
- The report expresses concern that the health impacts of pollution, deforestation and the mechanised food-chain are less well understood.
- The report notes that poor environmental conditions cause approximately 25% of global disease and mortality and resulted in around 9 million deaths in 2015 alone.
- Due to lack of access to clean drinking supplies, 1.4 million people die each year from preventable diseases such as diarrhoea and parasites linked to pathogen-riddled water and poor sanitation.
- The report notes that chemicals pumped into the seas causes potentially multi-generational adverse health effects, and land degradation through mega-farming and deforestation occurs in areas of Earth home to 3.2 billion people.
- The report states that air pollution causes 6-7 million early deaths annually.
- The report calls for a root-and-branch detoxifying of human behaviour while insisting that the situation is not unassailable. Food waste for instance, which accounts for 9% of global greenhouse gas emissions, could be slashed. The world currently throws away a third of all food produced. In richer nations, 56% goes to waste.
The report makes a strong case for a rapid drawdown in greenhouse gas emissions and pesticide use to improve air and water quality. The report also notes lack of any international agreement for the environment close to covering what the 2015 Paris accord does for the climate.
India is mandated to submit a biennial update report containing updates of national greenhouse gas inventories and information on mitigation actions, needs and support received as a party to UNFCC.
The Union Cabinet chaired by PM Modi has approved the submission of second Biennial Update Report (BUR) to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), giving India’s national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory of 2014.
India’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2014
The Biennial Update Report contains five major components National Circumstances, National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, Mitigation Actions; Finance, Technology and Capacity Building Needs and Support Received and Domestic Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) arrangements. The BUR reports following figures about India’s greenhouse gas emissions:
- In India, a total of 26,07,488 gigagram (Gg) CC-2 equivalent or around 2.607 billion tonnes of CC-2 equivalent of GHGs were emitted from all activities, excluding ‘land use, land use change and forestry’ (LULUCF) in 2014.
- Net national GHG emissions after including LULUCF were 23,06,295 Gg CO2 equivalent or around 2.306 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
- Energy sector accounted for 73 per cent, industrial processes and product use (IPPU) 8 per cent, agriculture 16 per cent and waste sector 3 per cent of emissions.
- India is on course for achieving the target for emission intensity of the economy and share of non-fossil fuel-based power capacity.
India’s commitments under the Paris Agreement
India advocating the principle of common burden differential responsibility according to the respective capability has made three important commitments under the INDC. They are:
- Reducing greenhouse gas emission intensity of India’s GDP by 33-35 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
- 40 per cent of India’s power capacity would be based on non-fossil fuel sources.
- Creating an additional ‘carbon sink’ of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of Co2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
India’s commitments under the INDC’s are seen as most ambitious ones under the current circumstances.