UNFCCC Current Affairs - 2019
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The 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference that took place between 2 and 15 December 2018 in Katowice, Poland, is the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24). It is also referred to as the Katowice Climate Change Conference or Katowice Climate Talks. The most important outcome of COP24 was that the countries have agreed on rules for the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Main Outcomes of COP 24 in Katowice:
- The participating nations agreed on the rules to implement the Paris Agreement that will come into effect in 2020. The rules are regarding how the member nations will measure the carbon-emissions and report on their emissions-cutting efforts. This ‘rulebook’ can be called as the detailed “operating manual” of the 2015 Paris Agreement.
- The members of the conference did not agree to “welcome” the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on 1.5°C. The US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait refused to “welcome” the IPCC report.
- The parties to the conference agreed to record the pledges in a public registry, as per the existing interim portal. The public registry will continue to include a search function, although many attempts have been made to get it deleted.
- It was also agreed among the members that future pledges should cover a “common timeframe” from 2031. The number of years for the timeframe will be decided later.
Many difficult matters could not reach an agreement and have been postponed to next year for resolution. This includes questions such as ways to scale up existing commitments on emission reduction, different ways of providing financial aid to the poor nations, wording that prevents double counting and whether member nations are doing enough to cut their respective emissions.
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.