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COP26 a Year later: Where Do Last Year’s Climate Pledges Stand?

Nov 04, 2022

COP26 a Year later: Where Do Last Year’s Climate Pledges Stand?

Today’s edition of our Current Affairs will comprise a discussion on COP26 a Year later: Where Do Last Year’s Climate Pledges Stand. Read further to upgrade your UPSC CSE knowledge and also understand the topic’s relevance to the UPSC syllabus.

For Prelims: COP27, 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), Nationally Determined Contributions, Forest Declaration Platform, Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero.

For Mains: Outcomes of COP26, CoP26 & India, Updated Nationally Determined Contributions.


The next climate change conference in Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt this year (COP27), is just days away. Here is an update on the outcomes from the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), which was held in Glasgow, Scotland.

Probable Question 

To address the problem of climate change the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties is conducted every year. Explain the progress made in some of the biggest promises during CoP26.

About Outcomes of COP26

  • National emissions plans:
    • The deteriorating condition of the world’s climate is on a path to overshooting 2 degrees of warming.
    • Nearly 200 countries agreed at the COP26 summit to improve their emissions-cutting pledges, called Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs, but only two dozen countries have so far done so.
  • Deforestation
    • To end deforestation in this decade, the deforested areas need to shrink by 10% every year.
    • More than 100 countries took this pledge last year to end deforestation by 2030.
    • However, the Forest Declaration Platform which tracks progress on the goal, reported that it just fell by 6.3% last year.
  • Methane pledge:
    • 119 countries and blocs including the United States and the European Union 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, as per the World Resources Institute report.
  • Quitting fossil fuels
    • Around 20 countries pledged to stop public financing for fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of 2022, except in “limited” circumstances that comply with climate goals.
    • Countries such as Germany and the United States have 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.
    • Analysis by the German and Canadian governments suggests wealthy countries will deliver more than $100 billion in the years after 2023.
  • Greening business
    • The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) was launched ahead of last year’s U.N. talks, to act as the umbrella group for financial services firms looking to reach net-zero emissions across their portfolios. 
    • The group now counts more than 550 members, including most of the world’s leading 53 banks, minsurers, and 118 asset managers, who have set shorter-term targets to cut emissions, and more.
    • GFANZ also launched a series of projects to accelerate change in the real economy.
  • Data reporting standards
    • It was announced during COP26. 
    • The International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) was set up to establish baseline standards for environmental data from companies globally.
    • Despite that, the European Union and U.S. regulators have launched their own rules.

CoP26 and India

  • Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) was announced by the Prime Minister at the UN Climate Change Conference (CoP 26). 
  • Nationally Determined Contributions:
    • According to the NDC, India has committed to reducing the emission intensity of the GDP by 45% by 2030.
    • The Union Cabinet has also approved India’s updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). 
  • Updated Nationally Determined Contributions:
    • It has been prepared after carefully considering our national circumstances and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR-RC). 
    • They also represent the framework for India’s transition to cleaner energy for the period 2021-2030.
    • Significance:
      • It will provide an opportunity for enhancing India’s manufacturing capabilities and enhancing exports. 
      • It will lead to an overall increase in green jobs such as in renewable energy, clean energy industries- in automotive, etc.
      • It reaffirms India’s commitment to work towards a low carbon emission pathway, while simultaneously endeavoring to achieve sustainable development goals.

Way Forward

  • New Countries: COP27 is expected to see a handful of new countries make the pledge.
  • Halting New Oil and Gas Drilling: COP27 also hopes to announce new members, a fledgling international alliance to halt new oil and gas drilling.
  • Priority: The world today is suffering from the adverse effects of climate change, and addressing these impacts and preparing the world for an uncertain future should be the priority. 
  • Climate-resilient infrastructure: It is high time that building climate-resilient infrastructure in developing and growing countries is given as much importance as phasing down coal and investment in energy innovations and alternative technologies.

News Source: The Indian Express, PIB



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