“Leaders Fiddle While Home Burns” so went a slogan at a protest demonstration staged at the COP26 venue. Did the leaders really fiddle? Critics say yes. Otherwise why did they settle for phasing down the danger, when the cry out is for phasing it out? They ask. What is your take? Scan through the article before you decide.
What is COP26?
COP26 stands for 26th meetings of the Conference of Parties. COP is decision-making body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Dubbed as the Glasgow summit on climate change (31st October to 12th November 2021), COP26 had the representation of nearly 200 countries.
- The previous meeting (COP25) was held in Paris in 2015, where the member countries took a pledge to limit the rise in Earth’s temperature below 1.5°Cand prevent a climate crisis.
- The goal was to reduce emissions and attain the net zero level by 2050. COP26 was tasked with the responsibility for taking bold and effective action for ‘Stabilizing the Climate’.
Major climate change concerns are:
- Global warming due to emissions from fossil fuels used by humans.
- Extreme weather events such as heat-waves, floods and forest fires intensifying.
- Going beyond a rise of 1.5C would unleash unprecedented sea level rise and catastrophes.
It is globally realised that COP is the best mechanism to combat climate change concerns.
- The dream of ensuring all people a decent living will be unachievable if current situation persists.
- To Increase climate finance “beyond $100bn a year” to help poorer nations cope with climate change.
India at COP26
India reiterated its stand that reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 would be impossible, but whole-heartedly supported its inevitability and made climate commitments in the form of ‘five elixirs’ to
- Increase non-fossil power capacity to 500 gigawatt by 2030.
- Meet half of its energy requirements from various renewable sources.
- Reduce emissions by a minimum of one billion tonnes during 2021 to 2030.
- Focus on reducing carbon intensity to below 45%.
- Ensure achievement of net-zero emissions by 2070.
Opportunities and Initiatives
- Reducing methane emissions (30%), transition to clean energy and de-carbonisation and stopping deforestation by 2030 and phasing down of coal and fossil fuels.
- US and China pledging to boost climate co-operation.
- Providing climate finance of $130 billion.
- Phasing down of coal as a source of energy
Climate experts describe COP26 as the most significant climate moment since the 2015.
- COP26 was the first opportunity to see if countries work on track to respond to the multiple challenges presented by the climate emergency.
- This is a critical time for the world, especially the most climate-vulnerable.
- There is a need to drive livelihood improvements, biodiversity restoration, and job creation to deliver a just transition to an environmentally friendly, regenerative economy.
- COP26 was billed by the United Nations as the “last, best hope” to save the planet.
- The agreement established a clear consensus that all nations need to do much more, immediately, to prevent a catastrophic rise in global temperatures.
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