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COP26 a year later: where do last year’s climate pledges stand?

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Environmental pollutions and degradation.

 

Source : Indian Express

Directions: This Article discuss the current update on outcomes of the COP26. Go through it once, you can use it for value addition.

 Context:  A year ago at the U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, countries, banks and business leaders announced a slew of climate plans and pledges.

 

Cop 26 and its outocmes:

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) was held in Glasgow, UK with the aim to finalise the rules and procedures for implementation of the Paris Agreement and to get all countries to commit to a net-zero target by a specific year..

  

Outcomes of the Glasgow Climate Change Conference and current updates on it:

  • National emission plans: Nearly 200 countries agreed at the COP26 summit to improve their emissions-cutting pledges, called Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs, in time for COP27.
    • But only two dozen countries have so far done so.
  • Deforestation: More than 100 countries pledged last year to end deforestation by 2030.
    • To achieve that goal, however, the area deforested would need to shrink by 10% each year from the 2020 cover.
      • Instead, deforestation fell last year by just 6.3%, according to the Forest Declaration Platform which tracks progress on the goal.
    • Amazon deforestation last year hit its highest level since 2006.
  • Methane pledge: To date, 119 countries, and blocs including the United States and the EU pledged to slash methane emissions by 30% from 2020 levels by 2030.
    • But only 15 of them have come up with concrete plans to do so, according to a report by the World Resources Institute.
  • Quitting fossil fuels: Around 20 countries including Germany, and the United States pledged to stop public financing for fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of 2022, except in “limited” circumstances that comply with climate goals.
    • Majority of them are yet to publish such policies, and questions remain about how strict those plans will be.
  • $100 billion by 2023: Rich countries’ failure to deliver promised finance to poorer nations has eroded trust at recent climate talks and made collective progress harder.
    • Rich countries fell $16.7 billion short of the target in 2020 and have signalled that it won’t be met until 2023.
  • Greening business: Launched ahead of last year’s U.N. talks, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) acts as the umbrella group for financial services firms looking to reach net-zero emissions across their portfolios.
    • Since joining, 118 asset managers, 44 asset owners, and 53 banks have set shorter-term targets to cut emissions.
  • Data reporting standards: Announced during COP26, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) was set up to establish baseline standards for the reporting of environmental data from companies globally.
    • Despite its establishment, the European Union and U.S. regulators have moved to launch their own rules leading to ambiguity in the market.

 

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Q. ‘Climate Change’ is a global problem. How India will be affected by climate change? How Himalayan and coastal states of India will be affected by climate change? (UPSC CSE MAINS 2017)

Q. Climate risks may become irreversible despite taking actions. Should the focus be also on adaptation along with mitigation? Critically comment. (10M)