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Climate change and Paris Agreement

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.

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Climate change and Paris Agreement

  2. 2. PARTICIPATION STATISTICS State/Organizations Participants Parties 186 6291 Observer States 2 (Palestine and Holy See) 5 UN Secretariat units and bodies 30 245 Specialized agencies and related organizations 19 197 Intergovernmental organizations 53 439 Non-governmental organizations 624 3104 Media 434 904 Total 11185
  3. 3. Introduction • 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.
  4. 4. Introduction • 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, UNFCCC. • 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).
  5. 5. Introduction • 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.
  6. 6. Side Events • Apart from the main conference of COP 21, there were several side events happening simultaneously. • “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.”
  7. 7. Side Events 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.
  8. 8. Side Events 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. For example, Indian pavilion, German pavilion, China pavilion, Japan pavilion Cultural heritage side event Social work, climate change and risk management
  9. 9. IMPORTANT POINTS IN THE AGREEMENT • Differentiation • Long-Term Goal • Mitigation • Carbon Markets • Transparency and Support • Finance • Adaptation • Loss and Damage
  10. 10. Differentiation •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 developed.
  11. 11. Long-Term Goal 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.
  12. 12. Mitigation • With respect to countries’ individual mitigation efforts, the agreement prescribes a set of binding procedural commitments: • To “prepare, communicate and maintain” a NDC (Nationally Determined Contributions) • To provide information necessary for clarity and transparency; and to communicate a new NDC every five years. • 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.
  13. 13. Carbon Markets • 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 be developed.
  14. 14. Transparency and Support • All countries are required to submit emissions inventories and the “information necessary to track progress made in implementing and achieving” their NDCs. • 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.
  15. 15. Finance • 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 approval). “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.
  16. 16. Finance • 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.
  17. 17. Adaptation • 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.
  18. 18. 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 compensation.”
  19. 19. INDC • 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 convention.
  20. 20. 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.
  21. 21. 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 technology. • 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.
  22. 22. 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 Project, India. • 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 % per year.
  23. 23. 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
  24. 24. India’s existing initiatives o Smart Cities Mission – by building a clean and sustainable environment. 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.
  25. 25. 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
  26. 26. 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.
  27. 27. India’s existing initiatives • Climate Finance Policies o National Adaptation Fund – 3500 million rupees. 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.
  28. 28. Opinions of the Environmentalists across India regarding the Impact of the Paris Agreement on India
  29. 29. Sunita Narain, director-general of the Delhi- based non-profit Centre for Science and Environment(CSE) “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.”
  30. 30. 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.”
  31. 31. Navroz Dubash, Coordinator of CPR’s Climate Initiative 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 development needs.
  32. 32. Civil Society Responses regarding the Paris Agreement
  33. 33. Oxfam International “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 public sources. 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 the last.”
  34. 34. WWF “ 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.’
  35. 35. 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.”
  36. 36. 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 2020?”
  37. 37. 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.
  38. 38. Think Tanks’ Responses to The Paris Agreement
  39. 39. 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
  40. 40. Brookings “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.”
  41. 41. 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 perspective. 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.
  42. 42. What World Leaders say about the Historic Paris Agreement
  43. 43. Barack Obama (US President) “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.”
  44. 44. Narendra Modi Prime Minister of India “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.”
  45. 45. Jean-Claude Juncker (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 transition.”
  46. 46. Cameron (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.”
  47. 47. Prakash Javadekar (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.”
  48. 48. ActionAid (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.”
  49. 49. Xie Zhenhua (Representative of China) 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.
  50. 50. Eric Mann (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.
  51. 51. Protests • 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.
  52. 52. 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 COP. • The main reason being the developed or rich countries’ ‘unclear’ role to help more vulnerable countries.
  53. 53. References • • • • • • 30/pzaustralia30.jpg?itok=ULsGvteh • te_summit_obama_xi_protests_kick_off_key_meeting/499249230-world-leaders-pose- • • 0INDC%20TO%20UNFCCC.pdf • Photos taken from various sources
  54. 54. Thank You