UNFCCC Current Affairs - 2019

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UN Climate Summit concludes

The longest climate talks in the history of United Nations that was held in Madrid, Spain, ended on December 15, 2019. The climate summit ended without crucial agreement on carbon market rules of the Paris Agreement.

Highlights

The key issues that was aimed to get resolved at the summit was the regulation of carbon market. Carbon market puts prices on carbon dioxide emission. However, no conclusion was reached and the issue is to be taken at the next summit to be held at Glasgow in 2020. The summit failed to reach an agreement on the implementation of Article 6 of Paris Agreement.

The United Nations Environment Programme released its Emission Gap Report at the summit. Also, the report of Global Carbon Project was tabled at the summit.

The Presidency of the summit, Chile (though summit was held at Madrid, Spain), launched the Climate Ambition Alliance.

Article 6 of Paris Agreement

The article 6 aims at promoting approaches to implement the NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions) through voluntary international cooperation. It also establishes a trading system where in the countries with low emission are allowed to sell their exceeding allowance to countries with larger emissions.

Issue

Last year at the COP24, countries US, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Russia refused to welcome the IPCC 1.5C report. This year majority of the members are not willing to reduce their emissions at the pace suggested by the conference. According to World Resources Institute NDC tracker, only 80 countries have so far submitted proposals to enhance their NDCs. These countries are primarily small and developing. They represent only 10.5% of the world population.

India attended the Madrid Climate Conference

The Minister of Environment Shri Prakash Javadekar represented India at the Madrid Climate Conference. The United Nations Climate Change Conference is being held in Madrid between 2nd December, 2019 and 13th December 2019.

The COP25 (25th Conference of Parties) was to be held in Chile. However, Chile government cancelled COP25 due to the protests that are plaguing the country. Following its cancellation, Spain offered to organize the event.

Highlights

The Conference insisted the member countries to enhance their NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) in the coming 12 months till COP26. A yearbook was launched that called on the governments to strengthen the UNFCCC agenda post 2020. It also insisted to create actions for a climate resilient world between 2020 and 2050.

Report on Oceans

The conference also released report on oceans titled “Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate” (SPROCC). According to the report, global mean sea level increased from 1.4 mm (1901-1990) to 3.6 mm (2006-2015). Also, the report says that the ocean warming has increased since 1993. Between 1993 and 2017, 700 to 2000 metres of ocean layers have warmed up.

Nairobi Work Programme

The Nairobi Work Programme was reviewed and its progress were discussed at the conference. The Programme was established in 2005 at COP11. It aims at impacts, adaptation and vulnerability to climate change.

The objective of the programme is to assist least developed countries to understand and assess impacts of climate change.

The Global Climate Risk Index 2020 was published at the conference