Kyoto Protocol Current Affairs
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The UNFCCC Climate Change Conference (COP23) was held in Bonn, Germany and was presided over by Government of Fiji. It concluded with countries putting in place a roadmap for ‘Talanoa Dialogue’, a year-long process to assess countries’ progress on climate actions.
The Conference also made progress on framing rules for implementing 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change and brought rich nations on board on their pre-2020 commitments as demanded by developing nations.
Key Highlights of COP23
The conference provided countries around world took opportunity to showcase their actions taken to fulfil pledges under landmark 2015 Paris agreement as well as took other decisions including ‘Talanoa Dialogue’. It also made progress on framing rules for implementing Paris Agreement post-2020 and brought rich nations on board to walk the talk on pre-2020 commitments. However, the differences over climate financing continued.
Talanoa is a traditional approach used in Fiji and other Pacific islands to engage in an inclusive, participatory and transparent dialogue to resolve differences without putting any blame on any one. As per COP23 decision, it has been structured around three questions to arrive at answers with consensus: Where are we? Where do we want to go? How do we get there?
The dialogue will be conducted in a manner that promotes enhanced ambition. It will help parties to UNFCCC review their actions and discuss way forward in terms of raising ambitions before 2020. It will consider efforts of Parties on mitigation action and financial and technical support, as appropriate, as one of its elements, in the pre-2020 period under 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
Obligations under Kyoto Protocol
The COP23 outlined what all the rich nations need to do as far as their pre-2020 actions under Kyoto Protocol are concerned. It was crucial demand of developing countries. The pre-2020 actions refer to existing obligations of small group rich and developed nations to take mitigation actions under Kyoto Protocol. On the other hand, post-2020 actions are meant for all countries as per their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) under 2015 Paris Agreement.
Conference of Parties (COP)
COP is the supreme decision-making body of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). All States that are Parties to UNFCCC are represented at COP. At COP, all parties review implementation of Convention and take decisions necessary to promote the effective implementation of Convention.
India has ratified the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (or Doha Amendment) that commits countries to contain the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs). In this regard, India deposited its Instrument of Acceptance of the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol.
With this, India became the 80th country to accept the amendment relating to the second commitment period (2013- 2020) of the Kyoto Protocol.
About Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol is an international GHGs emissions reduction treaty linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It commits its Parties by setting internationally binding GHGs emission reduction targets. It was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997 and entered into force in February 2005.
The protocol is based on principle of equity and Common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR). It places obligations on developed nations to undertake mitigation targets to reduce emissions and provide financial resources and technology to developing nations. Developing countries like India have no mandatory mitigation obligations or targets under the Kyoto Protocol.
The first commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol was from 2008-2012. The second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol or Doha Amendment for 2013-2020 period was adopted in 2012. The amendment includes new commitments for parties to the Protocol who agreed to take on commitments in a second commitment period and a revised list of GHGs to be reported on by Parties.
The ratification of second protocol reaffirms India’s stand on climate action. It also further underlines India’s leadership in the comity of nations committed to global cause of environmental protection and climate justice. It will encourage other developing countries also to undertake this exercise. Under the second commitment period, implementation of clean development mechanism (CDM) projects will help Indian attract some investments.