Paris Agreement and NDCs : a status update


Despite all the hurdles, the implementation of Paris Agreement is inching forward. Time to take stock.,

Paris Agreement and NDCs : a status update

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  1. A major global initiative : The Paris Climate Agreement (PA) was signed in December 2015 in an attempt to limit the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Various countries developed and submitted national commitments, referred to as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The Conference of the Parties – 22 (COP-22) in Marrakesh in November 2016 continued discussions on implementation of PA, and other aspects continued to be deliberated upon in interim meetings like the recently concluded one in Bonn.
  2. Capacity building is required : For about three-fourths of the 165 listed NDCs, implementation of pledges is conditional upon financial and technical assistance. These countries depend on help from industrial countries to build implementation capacity. Even if all the NDCs are implemented, the planet would warm up by about 30C from pre-industrial temperature – well above the goal of remaining below 1.50V or 20C rise. This calls for implementation of all NDCs and the required support should be provided.
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  4. Efficient, Renewable : Improving energy efficiencies across sectors and increasing the use of renewables are crucial activities that will enable us to move along low-carbon development paths. The modern life leaves large carbon footprints which are just not sustainable anymore. Upfront capital investments are crucial, without them poorer countries will have few options.
  5. Trumped! Recent policy actions by US President Trump indicate that the US may not be able to meet its NDC targets. Further, under Mr. Trump Washington is not likely to provide support for implementation of NDCs by other countries. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is an international mechanism set up at VOP-16 in Cancun in 2010. As per this agreement, advanced economies should provide an annual assistance of $100 billion by 2020. This deadline has now been extended to 2025. The fund currently has pledges worth $ 10 billion and there is a commitment to fund projects that enable lowering emissions.
  6. India in action : India, in its NDC statement, had estimated a requirement of $2.5 trillion to carry out its climate actions until 2030. It is, however, clear that LDCs, small island states and African countries, which have contributed little to GHGs ought to receive first priority. In April 2017, the GCF Board approved eight projects of a funding of $755 million. Projects supported by them now stand at 43, and the total amount in GCF fund is $2.2 billion that have a value of $7.3 billion, if co-financing is added.
  7. GCF and India : The GCF recently approved a project to rejuvenate tanks and enhance renewable in Odisha for $34 million. Though this is a small amount, it is expected to improve climate resilience in 15 of the most vulnerable districts of the state. Thus, funds from advanced countries are crucial. In January the US transferred $ 500 million to the GCF. This was the second payment towards fulfillment of a $ 3 billion pledge made in 2014.
  8. Pledges, Commitments, and more : So far, more than 40 countries have made contributions to the GCF. The major contributors being the US, Japan and the UK. The US lags behind its pledge as the largest emitter of GHGs. If Mr. Trump is unwilling, the Congress could approve the funds. Constraints in flow of funds will prevent support to deal with climate change. All countries have responsibilities, but the rich countries, especially the US and European nations have to do their fair share for the world to set along zero emission path.
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Bodhi Saar: Paris Agreement and NDCs : a status update
Paris Agreement and NDCs : a status update
Despite all the hurdles, the implementation of Paris Agreement is inching forward. Time to take stock.
Bodhi Saar
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