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Three days of COP26 and the story beyond: All major highlights of the Climate Conference

Every intelligent mind, that has been engaged or aware about the dreadful experiences our beloved planet and its beings are going through, thought of what will happen at COP26, the biggest climate conference of the year.

The one where we just will not ponder over what has already dwindled on the planet, to be reminded over how humans have taken such a life-rooting Earth towards its own demise.

Rather, it is a conference that will inherently decide; how the human world will proceed so that Earth can buy a minute to rejuvenate.

Well, beyond all hopes and criticisms, COP26 is here. Here are a few great takes from the event:

PM Modi’s 5-point agenda or ‘Panchamrit’:

It is meant to correct the wrongs done and deal aptly with the threats of climate change and exert some advertent pressure on the developed countries to finally work over their promise of climate finance.

It is necessary for a smooth and easy transition towards energy efficiency, fight one’s vulnerabilities against climate change, reduce emissions when one has not been able to develop earlier, fulfil their NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) etc.

  1. India would build 450 GW non-fossil energy capacity by 2030. India’s non-fossil installed capacity in 2019 was 134 GW and is projected to reach 817 GW by 2030.
  2. Nearly half of India’s energy requirements (only electricity as per analysts) will be achieved through renewables.

An Analyst explains: “India’s power requirement in 2030 is projected to be 2518 BU [billion units] and if we target to meet 50 per cent of our requirements from renewables, then the installed capacity will have to increase from the planned 450 GW to 700 GW”.

“If we consider hydroelectricity as part of renewables – as it is considered globally – then we will need to increase new renewable capacity to 630 GW. This is definitely achievable.”

  1. With current rate of emissions in India being 2.88 gigatonnes, the emissions will rise to approximately 4.48 Gt in 2030. Therefore, India looks forth to cut at least 1 billion tonnes of emissions by 2030.

 

This will be undertaken through large-scale plantation drives and easy to build renewable energy plants.

  1. As a part of its NDC, India has aimed to reduce the carbon intensity of its GDP (i.e., part of its economic activities) by 33%-35% by 2030 as compared to 2005 levels.

As per India’s biennial Update report 2016 submitted about its own NDCs, the prevalent emissions intensity of GDP fell by 24% compared to 2005 levels.

  1. With almost the entire world looking at India to announce its Net-zero emissions reduction target year, COP26 has got it all.

India remained the last of all G20 countries that refrained from even declaring a Net Zero target.

India has agreed to achieve net zero emissions by 2070, i.e., the year by when all the carbon emitted by the country will be managed and removed from the atmosphere.

The similar target for Indian Railways will be 2030: “More passengers than the entire population of the world travel by Indian Railways every year.”

“This huge railway system has set itself a target of making itself ‘Net Zero’ by 2030. This initiative alone will reduce emissions by 60 million tonnes per annum.”

India’s target stands at a time when it is recovering from the effects of the Pandemic and working towards growth and development.

Additionally, the country did not get ample gap between the years of growth and the ones required to be the ones constricted by limited use of fossil fuels and consequently, lesser emissions.

PM’s LIFE movement:

A new ‘One-word’ movement to achieve sustainable development has been given i.e., LIFE: “The world today admits that lifestyle has a major role in climate change. I propose a one-word movement before all of you.”

“This word is LIFE which means Lifestyle for Environment. Today, it’s needed that all of us come together and take forward LIFE as a movement”.

He has also urged the world leaders to include climate change adaptation measures in the school curriculum in order to make the next generation aware of current and upcoming issues.

“Adaption has not been given as much attention in the global climate dialogue as mitigation. This is unfair to countries that will be impacted more by climate change.”

ISA has been given a new life at COP26:

 International Solar Alliance(ISA) led by India and France has decided to go forth in a partnership with the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), that will help with progressive adoption of clean energy in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Such new prospect will trigger direct and indirect solutions for solar power i.e., grid-based and distributed form of renewable energy.

India Green Guarantee fund launched by United Kingdom:

It was announced in COP26 that UK will fund the World Bank to provide an additional 750 million pounds for implementing the green projects across India including the Electric vehicles.

This will further aim to strengthen the most vulnerable of societies and help them gain resilience against the daily struggles triggered by climate change.

But as per a few known sources, there is still more that Britain has planned for India at COP26: “The UK’s biggest finance offer to India at COP26 will be a $1 billion sovereign guarantee for additional World Bank lending for green infra”.

End of Coal dependence is seemingly possible:

Another valuable breakthrough at COP26 would be a decision to end coal dependence in an upcoming time wherein major coal-powered economies like Poland, Ukraine, Vietnam, Chile etc., have decided to lessen their inclination for the same.

A member of an energy think tank exclaimed: “Today’s commitments will help to shift whole continents on their journey to phase out coal”.

“We now need to see the incoming massive scale-up in clean energy finance made available quickly to ensure all countries can confidently move from coal to clean”.

“This is a small step forwards when what was needed was a giant leap.”

Climate Finance: an assistance to Life on Earth

Banks, insurers, investors, climate enthusiasts etc., have pledged a staggering amount of $130 trillion to be used for combating climate change.

A former Bank of England governor Mark Carney has convinced and gathered close to 450 organizations controlling this amount which is approximately 40% of global private assets, just to be able to shift these finances for a transition towards zero carbon emissions, such as through promoting and investing on renewable energy.

President of the Rockefeller foundation said: “Accelerating climate transitions in developing countries will not happen if an immediate 20% return on every investment is necessary”.

Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon and Blue Origins, to know, has pledged $2 billion, a part of his earlier committed $10 billion Bezos Earth Fund, so that Nature can rest and impacting food systems can be transformed to caress Mother Earth.

He explains his motive: “Each year, forests and landscapes absorb 11 billion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. As we destroy nature, we reverse this process”.

“In too many parts of the world, nature is already flipping from a carbon sink to a carbon source. This is a profound danger to us all.”

“We must conserve what we still have, we must restore what we’ve lost and we must grow what we need to live without degrading the planet for future generations to come.”

The commitment to reduce Methane and offset the emissions through controlling deforestation and aggressive plantation has been observed. Over 100 countries have promised to inverse the effects of deforestation by 2030 that involves around £14bn ($19.2bn) of public and private funds.

In the spirit of helping nations steer their success stories, funding will even flow for South Africa i.e., around £6bn ($8.5 billion) just to ditch coal.

As the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres asserts: “Our addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink. It’s time to say: Enough.”

Criticism in abundance:

Much celebrated Climate Lover Greta Thunberg along with a bunch of motivated younger minds also celebrated the event.

She said: “COP26 so far has been just like other COP summits and has led us nowhere.”

“Inside COP there are just politicians and people in power pretending to take our futures seriously. Change is not going to come from inside there, that is not leadership.”

“We said no more blah blah blah….no more exploitation of nature, no more exploitation of people. We are sick and tired of it.”

According to Oxfam Climate Policy Organization: “These leaders, instead of reducing emissions and putting the world on a safer path, they are just blowing hot air, and we have had enough of hot air and empty promises, what we are asking for is for concrete action”.

“We need climate finance, poor countries need climate finance, vulnerable communities need climate finance, and they need to be serious about this, to support vulnerable countries, to adapt to the worst impact of the climate crisis.”

Likewise, the Scientists have joined their hands with the Environmental activists, to seize the conference and not just let it be another ‘practice’ of the UN’s Paris agreement.

The Scientists have dared to ask questions to the policy-makers and are turning wary of their close-knit involvement with Nature: “We as climate activists need to go as far into the negotiation rooms as possible. The closer you are to the decisions of power, the more power you have.”

Another member from Global Justice Now said: “Many of the financial institutions meeting today have made a killing from the climate and ecological crisis, and we should be deeply suspicious of any attempt to spin them as the heroes”.

One of them explains why: “Since the first COP, more than half of all emissions that have happened in history have occurred. The whole COP circus has been a massive failure.”

But even when there is failure, there is hope and so the human race survives: “You will have to solve conflicts between rich and poor countries about how to distribute the mitigation burden, and it’s very difficult to see that happening in any other forum.”

About the author

Alaina Ali Beg

I am a lover of all arts and therefore can dream myself in all places where the World takes me. I am an avid animal lover and firmly believes that Nature is the true sorcerer.

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