Describe the major outcomes of the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). What are the commitments made by India at this conference? (250 words) [2021]

  • The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was held in Glasgow, UK in 2021.
  • The main goals of the conference were:
    • Accelerating action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UNFCCC
    • Achieving net-zero emissions by 2050
    • Protecting communities and natural habitats through adaptation efforts
    • Mobilizing finance for climate action
    • Finalizing the Paris Rulebook (detailed rules to implement the Paris Agreement)
  • At the conference, countries:
    • Reaffirmed the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C
    • Agreed to accelerate action by presenting stronger national action plans in 2022 (instead of 2025)
    • Agreed to phase out fossil fuel subsidies and phase down coal power
    • Committed to providing at least $100 billion in climate finance per year
    • Called on international financial institutions to mobilize trillions in private and public sector finance needed for net-zero emissions
  • India, the third largest emitter in terms of net emissions, made the following pledges at the conference in accordance with the Paris Agreement of 2015 (known as India’s “Panchamrit” or “five-point pledge”):
    • Commitment to reach net-zero emissions by 2070
    • Increase non-fossil fuel energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030
    • Increase the share of renewables in the energy mix to 50% by 2030
    • Reduce the emissions intensity of its economy by 45%
    • Reduce emissions by 1 billion tonnes of CO2
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