United Nations Environment Programme Current Affairs - 2020

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Global Coalition for Biodiversity launched on World Wildlife Day

On March 3, 2020, on the sidelines of the World Wildlife Day celebrations, Global Coalition for Biodiversity was launched. The initiative was launched by the European commission. The coalition was named “United for Biodiversity”.

Highlights

The Global Coalition is constituted of national parks, aquariums, zoos, botanical gardens and science museums that are spread all over the world. The Coalition has called the institutions all over the world to join before the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, China. The Convention is to be held in China in October 2020.

The coalition has been welcomed by several organizations including United Nations Environment Programme.

IPBES at the Coalition

The Coalition cited Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services findings that more than 1 million species are under risk of extinction. The Coalition hence adopted a pledge to appeal to visitors of the institutions associated with it to “raise voice for Nature”.

What is IPBES?

IPBES is Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. It was established in Panama City in 2012 by 94 countries. It is not a part of United Nations. However, on the request of IPBES, the United Nations Environment Programme provides secretariat services to IPBES.

IPBES focuses on assessments, building capacity and knowledge, policy support on Biodiversity.

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UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2019

Recently released United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Emissions Gap Report-2019 warns that the Earth’s average temperature may rise by 3.2 degrees Celsius by 2100. Moreover, despite all scientific warnings and political commitments emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) couldn’t decrease globally.

The report was released prior to United Nations Climate Conference (COP-25) to be held in Spain from 2 December 2019. It states that GHG emissions have increased by 1.5% since last decade and that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have reached an all-time high figure of 55.3 gigatons.

Key Findings of UNEP Emissions Gap Report 2019

China, United States of America (USA), European Union (28) and India are among the top four greenhouse gas emitters.

India: UNEP report highlights that India is regularly considering deadlines and targets to curb carbon emissionAs per the report, India’s per capita emission is one of the lowest within G20 countries. Also, India is one of the leading countries that are looking for electric vehicle development.

Globally:

The report suggested that only if Green House Gas (GHG) emissions are reduced by 7.6% every year during 2020 to 2030 period, only then the target of reducing global temperature can be achieved.

As per the report, the largest GHG contribution comes from energy sector and its fossil fuel emissions. Thus to achieve the target of limiting temperature rise to no more than 1.5 ° C, all countries must reduce GHG emissions by up to 5 times.

The report also highlights that if global temperature reaches at level of 1.5 degrees then coral reefs would be reduced by 70-90%. It also clarifies that by 2100, the world would be warmer 3.2 degrees that pre-industrial level.

Key Recommendations of Emissions Gap Report 2019

The report suggested that each country has own unique opportunities to protect livelihood, natural resources and lives. Moreover, Complete de-carbonization of energy sector is possible and necessary. With renewable energy electricity, the emission reduction can achieve a target of 12.1 gigatonnes (GT) by 2050. Also, the electrification of transport can also help to reduce carbon emission up to 72% by 2050.

 

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