Reading Time: 7 mins Drought is a recurrent calamity that has grappled India over decades and centuries. An isolated subcontinent of India provides for unique climate conditions coupled with the variety in geography, the characteristic southwest monsoon has dealt with severe drought conditions in the past. The developmental needs, increasing population and climate change have been creating conditions of drought. The drought and its management is important governance and developmental issue.
Reading Time: 6 mins Four and a half years after nations negotiated the Paris Climate Agreement (now ratified by 187 of them), the global climate change action is taking place at a slow pace. Though there is incremental progress in the activities, the finance issue is still looming large as the main contributors, the developing countries are yet to meet their obligations. In this background, it is important to take stock of the Climate finance regime as we are lagging behind the targets and the gap between what is to be done and what is being done is increasing.
Reading Time: 7 mins Carbon emission trading is currently one of the popular approaches used by policymakers to mitigate climate change. However, there is a growing number of cases of countries or private players exploiting the flaws or loopholes that exist within this mechanism. Reforming to address these gaps also seems to be a difficult feat as there are interferences from powerful players involved in pollution, making it highly unreliable. Thus, there is a need for a new approach, the one that comprehensively addresses the existing limitations and transparently reduce emissions while also promoting the inclusive economic growth of the countries.
Reading Time: 9 mins The annual UN Climate Conference, 25th Conference of Parties (COP25) in Madrid, became the longest on record, following more than 2 weeks of fraught negotiations. Nearly 27,000 delegates went to Spain’s capital in early December last year aiming to finalise the “rulebook” of the Paris Agreement. However, the COP25 failed to address the issue of climate change despite yearlong demonstrations and demands across the globe to mitigate it. Mere technicalities hindered the progress that needs to be made by the global community to safeguard the future generation and the vulnerable biodiversity.
Reading Time: 7 mins The on-going Australia bushfires have already destroyed millions of acres of land, making it worse than that of the last year’s Amazon rainforest fire. The blaze due to these fires have turned the skies orange and made breathing air in Sydney equivalent to smoking 19 cigarettes. It is hard to even fathom the impact on the land and biodiversity. An estimated 1 billion animals have died and the scientists fear long-term damage to many sensitive ecosystems. This is one of the many symptoms of global warming and the blaze may even contribute to it. This disaster is a warning to the world that the extreme fire events like this one will only grow more likely to occur.
Reading Time: 17 mins Since August 2018, when Greta Thunberg initiated a protest in front of the Swedish Parliament, there have been hundreds of similar “climate strikes” across the world. This, along with extreme weather conditions like unpredictable monsoons, extended droughts and frequent cyclones are doing little to make the global leaders undertake measures to address this issue. At the UNFCCC’s 25th COP that was held in Madrid last year, global leaders were unable to move forward to fulfil the commitments they made in the 2016 Paris Agreement. Although India has been more proactive than many other nations in dealing with the global climate crisis, it too has fallen short on the implementation. If the necessary steps are not taken soon, the decade we are going to embark on is going to be a lot more dangerous due to the rapid, out of control climate change.
Reading Time: 7 mins In 2015, the UNGA adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 193 nations, including India, are committed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. It broadly involves the eradication of poverty of all forms, fighting inequality and tackling climate change through inclusiveness. India has played a significant role in past years to achieve these goals and its achievement is critical for the global community as it is consists of about 17% of the world population. As per the SDG Index released by the NITI Aayog and the UN showed the nation has scored 58 – almost more the halfway mark in meeting the target set for 2030.
Reading Time: 8 mins This year, India had hosted the United Nations Convention to Combating Desertification Conference of Parties (UNCCD COP14), in New Delhi. About 8,000 participants and delegates from across 200 countries took part in this Convention. Almost 30 decisions were agreed upon after intense deliberations. The use of the term “desertification” in the Convention to Combat Desertification gives the impression that this Convention only focuses on deserts. However, this is not true. This Convention is about the sustainable management and restoration of land – which has important positive implications for water, energy, biodiversity, and livelihoods. This year’s COP, India took over the presidency and has the opportunity to bring to the limelight this lesser-known Rio Convention. By hosting UNCCD COP14, India has become the 4th country in the world along with Argentina, Kenya, and Germany to have convened all three COPs under the Rio Convention of 1992. These include the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) and the UNCCD.
Reading Time: 5 mins
A few years back, Beijing and Delhi were competing with each other for being some of the most polluted cities in the world. Between 2000 and 2009, Beijing was far worse than Delhi in terms of air pollution. However, in recent years, the air quality of Beijing began improving while Delhi’s pollution levels continued to increase. In 2017, the concentration of PM 2.5 (particulate matter with a size of 2.5 microns or less) in Beijing was less than half that of Delhi. The number of “very unhealthy” days in Delhi is four times more than that of Beijing. The reason behind Beijing’s successful reduction of atmospheric pollution is due to the series of stringent measures to reduce the carbon emission into the atmosphere. One among them is the focus on the automobile sector. In 2017, the quota for new vehicles was fixed at 150,000 cars of which 60,000 was allotted only to the fuel-efficient cars. In 2018, this quota was reduced to 100,000. Although an average Indian contributes only a microscopic amount of transport-related carbon dioxide emissions to the global climate change, congested streets and polluted air are common aspects seen in the Indian metropolises. It is not only discomforting on a daily basis but is also a long-term health hazard to those who are living in big cities like Delhi.