UNFCCC Current Affairs
The 24th meeting of Conference of Parties (COP-24) to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) began at Katowice, Poland. COP-24 is expected to finalise guidelines for implementation of Paris Agreement adopted in 2016. Delegates from nearly 200 nations are participation in COP24. Indian delegation to this conference is led by Environment Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan.
India expects that COP-24 will be able to frame guidelines, which are pragmatic and gives due consideration to challenges and priorities of developing countries. India considers that outcome of COP-24 should be balanced, inclusive, and consistent with principles and provisions of Convention and its Paris Agreement.
India strongly supports objective of Paris Agreement to strengthen global response to threat of climate change by keeping global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius from pre- industrial revolution period. India considers it important as it is linked to issue of poverty eradication.
India will highlight its concern for climate change and reaffirm its commitments to finalisation of Paris Agreement Work Programme. This agreement also focuses on developing countries need to adapt to adverse impacts of climate change, in manner that it does not put additional burden on them.
India will be setting up pavilion to create awareness about India’s positive climate actions in various sectors of economy. The theme of Pavilion is ‘One World One Sun One Grid’ as highlighted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during first assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA) in October 2018.
UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)
It is international environmental treaty negotiated at Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and entered into force in 1994. It has near universal membership as it has 196 countries and European Union (EU) as its members. It is parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol which was ratified by 192 of the UNFCCC Parties. The ultimate objective of both treaties is to stabilize greenhouse gas (GHGs) concentrations in atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system.
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.
The 26th BASIC Ministerial Meeting of Environment Ministers was held in Durban, South Africa. The grouping is a bloc of four countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China. It was attended by from BASIC countries and Michal Kurtyka of Poland, next president of Conference of Parties (COP-24) under United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). India was represented by Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan.
Key Outcomes of Meeting
BASIC countries decided to preserve integrity of historic 2015 Paris Agreement, including principles of common but differentiated responsibilities and equity. They held that world is at critical stage in combating climate change and response of developed nations to tackle the issue is still not adequate.
They reiterated that developed nations should take lead in terms of mitigation and providing means of implementation to developing countries. They should equally give importance to ambition of developing countries by providing them supported and sustained, predictable and adequate finance, technology and capacity-building support. Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan reiterated his appeal for joint efforts to create societal movement in combating climate change through Green Good Deeds.
BASIC countries are bloc (geopolitical alliance) of four large newly industrialized countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China. It was formed by agreement in November 2009. They are committed to act jointly at Copenhagen climate summit, including possible united walk-out if their common minimum position was not met by the developed nations during climate talks. It is working to define common position on emission reductions and climate aid money and try to convince other countries to sign up to Copenhagen Accord.