COP 26 focussed on guidelines for climate change action
The 26th edition of the Conference of Parties (COP26) witnessed as many as 200 world leaders come together in Glasgow, Scotland to discuss measures to tackle climate change.
India presented its Panchamrits (five elements) as its promises to contribute to climate action:
- India will take its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030.
- India will meet 50 percent of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030.
- India will reduce the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes from now till 2030.
- India will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by more than 45 percent by 2030.
- India will achieve the target of Net Zero by the year 2070
The utmost priority of the conference this year was to make the Paris Agreement operational. To this effect, some of the agreed goals of this year include:
Securing net zero globally mid-century and keeping 1.5 degrees within reach
Countries were asked to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reduction targets that can be aligned with net-zero goals. Countries were asked to accelerate the phase-out of coal, curtail its deforestation and expedite the switch to electric vehicles, and also encourage investments in renewable energy.
Protection of communities and natural habitats
Countries were encouraged to come together and work towards protecting and restoring ecosystems with investments for building defenses, warning systems and resilient infrastructure and agriculture to avoid loss of homes, livelihoods and even lives.
One of the most critical elements was the implementation of Article 6 which obligated developed countries to promise an obligatory mobilization of at least $100bn in climate finance per year so that developing countries can channelize this fund towards greater investments for their climate goals. International financial institutions were also directed to contribute to this.
Collaborate to achieve world goals
The global community was directed to work together to tackle the rising climate crisis and challenges.
To this effect, the Paris Rule book was finalized to make the Paris Agreement operational and countries were directed to accelerate their climate change actions through collaborations amongst governments, businesses and the society at large.
Some of the other key outcomes include:
- Glasgow Climate Pact
Countries were urged to strengthen the climate action plans and NDC’s. Mitigation ambitions and its implementation is to be scaled with tools like reduction of coal usage and abolishment of “insufficient subsidies” on fossil fuels. The pact also directed to increased investments for climate change adaptation.
- Enhanced Transparency FrameworkParties agreed on a framework of rules on communicating their national emission balances in accordance with the modalities, procedures and guidelines adopted during COP26.
- Common Timeframe for NDCs
Countries agreed to update their NDCs every five years, and that each set of updated NDCs shall cover a 10-year period. They also agreed to update and communicate their NDCs every 5 years starting from 2025.
- Adaptation Fund
The COP26 acknowledged that financial contributions had failed to meet the 2020 goal of $100 billion a year and discussed ways to scale up collective contributions for the next period to 2030. Warsaw Mechanism for Loss & DamageThe Santiago Network will now ‘catalyzé technical assistance to avert, minimize and address loss and damage in climate-vulnerable developing countries.
- Article 6
One of the important outcomes of COP26 is the Operationalization of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement which has paved the way for countries to work with each other and reduce the overall cost of emission reduction. Developed and developing countries will now work together. With this, developing countries like India can not only meet their promised targets but also contribute more significantly towards climate change.
Waste management – a critical element for climate action
While the implementation of the Paris Agreement is an important step forward, counties will also need national goals for waste reduction. Recycling, composting and waste reduction are proven, low-cost and ready to implement climate solutions. Moving away from biomass burning in favor of composting can store carbon in our soils. Similarly, composting food scraps and yard waste, and recycling paper recycling and help reduce methane emissions in landfills.
COP26 takeaways for you and I
While the COP26 established many guidelines for climate change actions and all the nations have promised to come together and work for a sustainable tomorrow, each of us humans have responsibilities as well.
We have to take big steps today to save the world. This is the need of the hour and it will only add to the relevance of forums like COP26. Every tiny action by us counts and contributes significantly to save the future of our future generations, giving them the gift of a secure and prosperous life.
Authored by Manish Dabkara, CMD & CEO, EKI Energy Services Ltd.