Presentation By Shri Mahesh Pandya, Director, Paryavaranmitra shown at The institution of Engineers, Gujarat State Center, Ahmedabad Note: Views expressed by the author are his own. Placing this presentation here does not mean IEI GSC is in agreement with the same.
UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK
CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE
VENUE: PARIS, FRANCE
Parties 186 6291
Observer States 2 (Palestine and Holy See) 5
UN Secretariat units and
Specialized agencies and
Media 434 904
• With recent terrorist attacks on 13 November
2015 in the capital city of France, Paris, it
successfully hosted the world’s biggest summit
regarding climate change, just after 15 days.
• Thus, we should congratulate and have high
respect for the Government of France.
• Recently, Conference of the Parties (COP 21)
took place in the outskirts of capital city of France
at Le Bourget. COP is held under the UN Body,
• It was held from 30th November 2015 to 12th
December 2015. On the first two days, each
leader of the country expressed their views.
• COP was divided in three areas, one being
conference centre, second being Climate
Generation area (civil society) and third being the
Gallery (business representatives).
• Due to human activities, the green house gases
have increased to such an acute level that it has
threatened our very existence.
• With due concern of the fate of mankind, 196
countries had gathered in Paris for an universal
agreement to work together towards restricting
the rise in temperature.
• Apart from the main conference of COP 21, there
were several side events happening
• “Side events and exhibits were established as a
platform for admitted observer organizations that
have limited speaking opportunities in the formal
negotiations, to engage with Parties and other
participants for knowledge sharing, capacity
building, networking and exploring actionable
options for meeting the climate challenge.”
These consisted mainly of three things:
1) Thematic days
Under this, different kinds of days were celebrated. For
example, Farmer’s Day, Gender Day, Young and Future
Generations Day etc.
2) LPAA (Lima-Paris Action Agenda)
The Lima-Paris Action Agenda is a joint undertaking of the
Peruvian and French COP presidencies, the Office of the
Secretary-General of the United Nations and the UNFCCC
Secretariat. It is aimed at strengthening climate action
throughout 2015, in Paris in December and beyond.
3) Pavilions, others and outside events
Besides the official side events coordinated by the UNFCCC
secretariat, Parties and observer organizations often organize their
own events relating to the climate change negotiation process within
different Pavilions and outside the conference premises.
Some NGOs also hold media actions or publicity activities in order
to raise public awareness.
Indian pavilion, German pavilion, China pavilion, Japan pavilion
Cultural heritage side event
Social work, climate change and risk management
IMPORTANT POINTS IN THE
• Long-Term Goal
• Carbon Markets
• Transparency and Support
• Loss and Damage
•The agreement includes references to developed
and developing countries, stating in several
places that the former should take the lead.
•Many provisions establish common
commitments while allowing flexibility to
accommodate different national capacities and
circumstances - either through self-
differentiation, as implicit in the concept of
nationally determined contributions, or through
more detailed operational rules still to be
The agreement reaffirms the goal of
keeping average warming below 2
degrees Celsius, while also urging
parties to “pursue efforts” to limit it to
1.5 degrees, a top priority for
developing countries highly vulnerable
to climate impacts.
• With respect to countries’ individual mitigation efforts, the
agreement prescribes a set of binding procedural commitments:
• To “prepare, communicate and maintain” a NDC (Nationally
• To provide information necessary for clarity and
transparency; and to communicate a new NDC every five
• It also sets the expectation that each successive NDC will
“represent a progression” beyond the previous one and reflect a
party’s “highest possible ambition.”
• Developed countries “should” undertake absolute economy-
wide reduction targets, while developing countries “are
encouraged” to move toward economy-wide targets over time.
In addition, developing countries are to receive support to
implement their commitments.
• While avoiding any direct reference to the use of
market based approaches – a concession to a
handful of countries that oppose them – the
agreement recognizes that parties may use
“internationally transferred mitigation outcomes”
to implement their NDCs.
• It requires that parties engaging in such transfers
ensure the “avoidance of double counting,”
consistent with accounting guidelines for NDCs to
Transparency and Support
• All countries are required to submit emissions
inventories and the “information necessary to track
progress made in implementing and achieving” their
• The COP decision says that, with the exception of
least developed and small island countries, these
reports are to be submitted at least every two years.
• In addition, developed countries “shall” report on
support provided; developing countries “should”
report on support received; and all “should” report on
their adaptation efforts.
• The agreement commits developed countries to provide
finance for mitigation and adaptation in developing
countries (“in continuation of their existing obligations
under the Convention,” a stipulation sought by the
United States so the agreement would not create new
binding financial commitments requiring congressional
“Other” parties are “encouraged” to provide such
support “voluntarily.” The COP decision extends the
$100 billion-a-year goal through 2025, and beyond that,
says only that by 2025 the COP will set a “new collective
quantified goal from a floor of” $100 billion a year.
• Biennially, developed countries should report the status
of their help to developing countries in terms of climate
finance, and mitigation and adaption.
• Global stocktake should collect the information
regarding the dealings of climate finance.
• The report submitted by developed countries should be
transparent and consistent.
• In the context of national climate strategies and plans
of least developed or developing countries, The Financial
Mechanism of the Convention should aim to ensure easy
approval procedures and ready support.
• Establishing a global goal of “enhancing
adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and
reducing vulnerability to climate change;”
• Requiring all parties, “as appropriate,” to plan
and implement adaptation efforts;
Committing enhanced adaptation support for
developing countries; including a review of
adaptation progress, and of the adequacy and
effectiveness of adaptation support, in the global
stocktake to be undertaken every five years.
Loss and Damage
• The mechanism, established as an interim body
at COP 19, is charged with developing approaches
to help vulnerable countries cope with unavoidable
impacts, including extreme weather events and
slow-onset events such as sea-level rise.
• At the insistence of developed countries, led by
the United States, the accompanying COP decision
specifies that the loss and damage provision “does
not involve or provide a basis for any liability or
• INDC stands for Intended Nationally
Determined Contributions. Before several
months of Conference, Parties were asked to
submit their INDC with plan, policies,
measures, actions etc. to Secretariat.
• Out of 188, 160 INDCs have been submitted to
Secretariat till date.
• INDC consists of the plan of a particular
country to achieve the objective of the
What India’s INDC consists?
• Some points are to be noted in brief to
understand India’s stand. They are:
Propagate sustainable living
Adopt climate friendly and cleaner path
Reduce emission intensity of its GDP by 33 to
35 percent by 2030 from 2005 level.
40 percent cumulative electric power
generation from non-fossil fuel based
resources by 2030.
What India’s INDC consists?
Create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion
tonnes by 2030
Mobilize domestic and new and additional funds
from developed countries
Capacity building through R&D and better
• Then, India has discussed the need of climate
finance, capacity building needs and technology
transfer and support from developed countries as
well as its recent initiatives in respect of
mitigation, adaptation and climate finance.
What India’s INDC consists?
• Annually, 220 billion rupees of CSR money is
to be spend on environmental initiatives.
• Voluntary carbon disclosure programme for
private sector handled by Carbon Disclosure
• A study of 100 companies over a 5 year period
covering 12 sectors indicate that the Indian
companies on an average have been reducing
their specific water consumption by 2.8 to 3 %
India’s existing initiatives
• Mitigation Strategies
o National Solar Mission - 20 GW to 100 GW by
2022. Kochi Airport – world’s first to run fully
on solar power.
o Proposed solar powered toll plazas.
o Nationwide Campaign for Energy
Conservation – targets to save 10 % of energy
consumption by 2018-2019
India’s existing initiatives
o Smart Cities Mission – by building a clean and
o Launched National Heritage City Development
and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY)
o Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban
Transformation – urban renewal mission for
500 cities across India.
o Swachh Bharat Mission (Clean India Mission)
o Zero Effect, Zero Defect – pollution control,
waste management, use of renewable energy.
India’s existing initiatives
o Green Highways (Plantation & Maintenance)
Policy - 140,000 km long “tree-line” along
both sides of national highways.
o Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid
& Electric Vehicles.
o National Air Quality Index
India’s existing initiatives
• Adaptation Strategies
o Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana to promote
organic farming practices.
o Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana to
promote efficient irrigation practices.
o National Mission for Clean Ganga (Namami
Gange) to rejuvenate the river.
o National Bureau of Water Use Efficiency
(NBWUE) to promote, regulate and control
efficient use of water.
India’s existing initiatives
• Climate Finance Policies
o National Adaptation Fund – 3500 million
o Reduction in subsidies on fossil fuels including
diesel, kerosene and domestic LPG.
o Coal tax fourfold – from 50 to 200 rupees per
tonne to help finance clean energy projects
and Ganga rejuvenation.
o Tax Free Infrastructure Bonds for funding of
renewable energy projects.
Opinions of the
across India regarding the
Impact of the
Paris Agreement on India
Sunita Narain, director-general of the Delhi-
based non-profit Centre for Science and
“On the whole, the Paris agreement is weak and
unambitious, as it does not include any meaningful
targets for developed countries to reduce their
emissions,. It notes that climate injustice is a concern
of some and it maintains that the agreement will be
under the UN convention. But as it does not
operationalise equity and the term carbon budget
didn’t even find mention in the text, this will end up
furthering climate apartheid.”
Lavanya Rajamani, Professor at the
Centre for Policy Research(CPR)
“Significantly for India, the Paris agreement firmly anchors
‘differentiation’ for developing countries — the idea that developed
and developing countries have different responsibilities and
capabilities.. It systematically reflects differentiation across the
various aspects of climate action — mitigation, adaptation, and
support. Developed countries are expected to take the lead on
mitigation and support, while developing countries are expected to
take actions within the context of their sustainable development and
poverty eradication imperatives. As a large developing country with
little historic responsibility for the problem and considerable energy
needs, this was an important outcome for India.”
Navroz Dubash, Coordinator of CPR’s
As a vulnerable country, achieving a climate deal is
important for India. Various mechanisms have been
put in place to enhance actions by countries over time
— systematic updates of country actions every five
years, a global ‘stocktake’ and provisions for a review
process. While India should certainly do its part, it is
important that these mechanisms keep pressure on
developed countries for more ambitious actions, to
allow countries like India the carbon space to meet our
Civil Society Responses
“Developed countries agreed to extend the 100bn goal
through to 2025, after which a new goal will be set for
post-2025 finance mobilization, with 100bn as a floor.
It remains unclear if this will be a vague goal that no
one can be held accountable to or if it strengthens
provisions specifically related to financial support from
Paris has not established an adaptation climate finance
target for either pre or post 2020 (either quantitative
or qualitatively). Such targets will need to be discussed
at COP22 in Morocco.
Paris has been a landmark agreement, but it won’t be
“ More immediate steps are needed for the said
ambitious action to fight the climate change.
Lou Leonard, vice president, climate change says ‘This
is a pivotal moment where nations stepped across
political fault lines to collectively face down climate
change. For decades, we have heard that large
developing nations don’t care about climate change and
aren’t acting fast enough. The climate talks in Paris
showed us that this false narrative now belongs in the
dustbin of history.’
Friends of the Earth
“Despite the very favourable reception given by some,
Friends of the Earth International believes that the Paris
Agreement fails to deliver climate justice.
It is a weak agreement where rich countries do not do
their fair shares of emissions cuts, or provide their fair
share of finance for energy transformation and
adaptation for developing countries.
There are almost no hard numbers or goals within the
text to ensure ambitious action on climate change. The
part of the text that may have offered redress for
vulnerable communities who have suffered irreparable
impacts of climate change has been weakened so as to
render it ineffective.”
Climate Justice Campaign
“As a first step in implementing the agreement, the UN
will host a high-level signing ceremony by world
leaders on April 22 next year, followed by a summit
meeting of government, business and civil society
leaders on May 5-6.
But what was left unsaid was one of the key challenges
in fighting climate change: how soon will the
international community, and specifically the world’s
rich nations and the private sector, succeed in raising
the estimated 100 billion dollars per year needed by
Women and Gender Constituency
“As the Women and Gender Constituency we came to this
process asking one question: what is the purpose of a global
climate agreement if not to save people and the planet?
This agreement fundamentally does not address the needs of the
most vulnerable countries, communities and people of the world.
It fails to address the structures of injustice and inequality
which have caused the climate crisis and hold the historical
polluters sufficiently to account.
Furthermore, the Paris Agreement served to undermine the
concept of international solidarity – a founding principle of the
UN that requires differentiation amongst states in a way that
should lead to redistribution and shared prosperity.
HEINRICH BOLL STIFTUNG (HBS)
“Judged against low expectations and the collective trauma of
Copenhagen 2009, the acceptance of the global and legally
binding Paris Agreement on Saturday, 12th of December, at
19:26 h, is a historical moment. It achieves a goal long believed
unattainable on the long road from Bali (2007) via Durban
(2011). It sends a powerful signal that global agreement on such
a painful structural transformation is possible.
Yet, no government seemed to be willing or able to agree on the
specifics. Judged against the enormity of the challenge and the
needs and pressure from people on the ground demanding a
global deal anchored in climate justice, the Paris Agreement can
only be called a disappointment. The gavel in Paris has fallen to
seal the deal. But citizens around the world have yet to find out
whether the Paris Agreement can be the springboard for lasting
policy changes on the ground or whether it will wrap a glorified
green veil around the continued inaction of our political
“A sense of measured optimism and achievement
emerged from the Paris climate conference. Diplomats,
environmentalists, researchers, and other observers
mostly felt relieved after years of discussions toward a
new international agreement on climate change.
Multilateralism had proven it might be up to the task of
addressing climate change. But it’s a very mixed
picture, and many of us are still trying to weigh the
strengths and weaknesses of the agreement, the
structure for global action it has established, and the
momentum around climate action it created. As George
Monbiot put it in the Guardian: “By comparison to
what it could have been, it’s a miracle. By comparison
to what it should have been, it’s a disaster.”
Oxford Climate Policy (OCP)
“As regards institutional arrangements and public sector
finance, the Paris outcome is clearly weaker than that
of Cancun – although, in fairness, there was never any
serious expectation that there would be a new fund in
the Paris finance package. However, the absence of any
figure for public sector funding in the Paris outcome is
a genuine step backwards, at least from a recipient
We must be humble and discard the emperor’s new
clothes (or, in this case, ‘haute couture’) by admitting
that the Paris finance outcome was (lamentably) weak
and we should try and look for ways to genuinely
enhance the predictability of public sector contributions
to international climate finance.
What World Leaders
say about the
“Over the past seven years, we’ve transformed
the United States into the global leader in
fighting climate change. This agreement
represents the best chance we have to save the
one planet that we’ve got. He also said that no
agreement is perfect, including this one. Even if
all the initial targets set in Paris are met, we’ll
only be part of the way there when it comes to
reducing carbon from the atmosphere.”
Prime Minister of
“Climate change is not of our making. It is
the result of global warming that came from
an industrial age powered by fossil fuel. Yet,
we face its consequences today, and that is
why the outcome in Paris is so important.
Agreement must lead us to restore balance
between humanity and nature.’ Developed
countries must fulfil their responsibility to
make clean energy affordable and accessible
to all in the developing world.”
(European Commission President)
“Today the world is united in the fight against
climate change. Today the world gets a lifeline,
a last chance to hand over to future generations
a world that is more stable, a healthier planet,
fairer societies and more prosperous
economies. This robust agreement will steer
the world towards a global clean energy
(UK Prime Minister)
“The talks at the COP21 conference in Paris
have culminated in a global deal, with the
whole world now signed up to play its part in
halting climate change. In other words, this
generation has taken vital steps to ensure that
our children and grandchildren will see that we
did our duty in securing the future of our planet.
What is so special about this deal is that it puts
the onus on every country to play its part.”
(Indian Environment Minister)
“We have opened a new chapter of hope
in the lives of 7 billion people on the
planet. We have (the planet) on loan from
future generations. We have today
reassured these future generations that we
will all together give them a better earth.”
(a South Africa-based NGO)
“In the closing hours of the Paris talks we have been presented
with a draft deal that denies the world justice. By including a
clause for no future claim of compensation and liability, the
US has ensured people suffering from the disastrous impacts
of climate change will never be able to seek the justice owed
to them. This unfair and unjust draft deal won’t face up to the
realities of climate change and will only serve to widen the
chasm between rich and poor.”
The agreement is fair and just, comprehensive and
balanced, highly ambitious, enduring and
effective. The agreement is not perfect, however,
this does not prevent us from marching forward
with this historic step. The Paris Agreement is a
historic landmark. The next step is
implementation. The Paris Climate Conference is a
crucial point in the global climate governance
process. The outcome has a real bearing on human
beings' undertakings in climate change and our
future of sustainable development.
(Environmental Activist in USA)
Millions of people all over the world worked to push the world's
governments to radically restrict Green House Gas emissions. There
were also people in every government in the world who shared that
goal and each of them pushed history are far as they could. I do not
believe Paris was a failure or a fraud or sham. It was a great historical
workshop, a reflection of the actual balance of forces in the world, and
again a reflection of the powerful and destructive role of the United
States as the greatest danger to Mother Earth. The Climate Justice
Movement is trying to become a more effective movement—and is
composed of many good people doing good work and trying, like we
are, to make a difference. But until there is some real agreement on
demands, tactics, political perspective and real forms of organization to
carry them out we are all running uphill with lead weights on.
• While there are many positive outcomes about
Paris Conference, in the streets of Paris many
activists did protest the ‘looseness’ of the 21st
session and repression of their voices.
• People were on streets portraying banners of
different kinds in protest and inefficiency of
the climate summit.
Protest inside COP21
• As the first draft was made public on 9th
November, many civil society groups
participating in the COP showed protest inside
• The main reason being the developed or rich
countries’ ‘unclear’ role to help more
• Photos taken from various sources