Paris Climate Agreement Current Affairs - 2019

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Earth at risk of becoming irreversible hothouse: Study

According to recent study, earth is at the risk of entering an irreversible hothouse condition – where the global temperatures will rise by four to five degrees even if targets under 2015 Paris climate deal are met. Hothouse Earth climate will in long-term stabilise at global average of 4-5 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial temperatures with sea level 10-60 metres higher than today.

Key Highlights of Study

Currently, global average temperatures are just over 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial and rising at 0.17 degree Celsius per decade. Keeping global warming to within 1.5-2 degrees Celsius as agreed in 2015 Paris climate agreement by around 200 countries may be more difficult than previously assessed.

Human-induced global warming of two degrees Celsius may trigger other Earth system processes often called feedbacks that can drive further warming even if greenhouse gases emissions are stopped. Avoiding this scenario will require redirection of human actions from exploitation to stewardship of Earth system.

The study consider ten natural feedback processes, some of which are tipping elements that lead to abrupt change if critical threshold is crossed. These feedbacks can turn from being friend that stores carbon to foe that emits it uncontrollably in warmer world.

These feedbacks include permafrost thaw, weakening land and ocean carbon sinks, loss of methane hydrates from ocean floor, increasing bacterial respiration in oceans, boreal forest dieback, Amazon rainforest dieback, reduction of northern hemisphere snow cover, loss of Arctic summer sea ice and reduction of Antarctic sea ice and polar ice sheets. These feedbacks tipping elements can potentially act like row of dominoes. Once one is pushed over, it pushes Earth towards another.

Month: Categories: Environment

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175 nations sign historic Paris Climate Agreement on Earth Day

175 nations including India have signed the historic Paris Climate Agreement at United Nations Headquarters in New York along marking a significant step to combat global warming.

On behalf of India, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar signed the agreement at a high-level ceremony hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the occasion of Earth Day (22 April).

The ceremony was attended by heads of governments, foreign ministers, corporate leaders and artists from across the world.

The agreement will come into force 30 days after at least 55 Parties to the UNFCCC, accounting for at least 55 per cent of global emissions ratify the agreement.

Key facts

  • The Paris Climate Agreement was formulated within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • Facilitates enforcement of global GHGs reduction measures, adaptation and finance in the post-2020 i.e. in post Kyoto Protocol scenario.
  • The agreement was adopted by representatives of 195 countries at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC held in Paris (France) in December 2015.
  • In the agreement, all countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • Takes into account the principle of equity (climate justice) and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) and respective capabilities.
  • The mitigation will be based on consensus among the members that have incorporated their respective Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).
  • Developed countries will provide 100 billion dollars annually to the developing counterparts beginning in 2020 and it would increase with time.

Comment

  • The signing of this agreement is the first step toward ensuring that it comes into force as soon as possible.
  • After the signing, countries must take the further national step of accepting or ratifying the agreement.

Month: Categories: EnvironmentInternational

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