[Expert Comment] Nations Reluctance At Climate Change Conference by Ashutosh Kumar

After two days over-extended Session of COP-25 of climate change conference at Madrid  ended on 15 December without concrete result to achieve an emission pathway agreed in Paris agreement. Despite all attempt of negotiations member-states failed to respond to climate change emergency situation as showcased by IPCC report and economic compulsion surpassed the ambitious modalities of Paris agreement and warsaw loss and damage mechanism. As vulnerable nations  contention suffered blow due to slow pace of COP-25  development. On final day of climate change conference. Observers of the summit in Madrid held G20 countries – especially with the US, Brazil, Australia, Saudi Arabia and major oil, gas and coal companies responsible for undermining the climate ambition and blocking the progress for a better response to this global challenge. Canada, Japan, China and India were also faulted for their complacency as they failed to support vulnerable nations in the face of brutal impacts and push for a more robust collective response in 2020. The EU tried to play its role as bridge-builder between developing and developed countries. All the implementation and global stocktaking of climate-resilient effort of mitigation, adaptation and funding was discussed with due diligence but the interest of oil-exporting countries and developed nations failure to start an action plan moved the summit towards disappointing note. As final day of the conference ended with an eye-opener release of Climate Change Performance Index, 2019 which showed lethargic response to climate change combat response as none of the countries were able to secure top-three spot in climate-resilient performance to combat climate change.


Sweden gained fourth position and topped in the ranking followed by Denmark at the second spot. As per the statistics, India has reason to cheer as it stood at 9th position with score of 66.02 for the first time on the basis of its INDC with the ambition of 175 GW renewable energy target and phasing out fossil fuel power plant dependency.  India’s performance has shown 21% GHG emission reduction in GDP measures as per said 33% commitment level. As per global climate change risk index, India is fifth most climate affected nation and suffered second-highest losses in 2018 due to climate change disaster such as flood, cyclone and drought occurrence as Japan is at the top in climate change risk index which was released in last week. If we analyze the climate change performance index Chinese Taipei, Saudi Arabia and USA are among the nation are the worst performer. As the USA, has shown sign of interest to rejoin the Paris Agreement. This climate change performance index is meant for enhancing the transparency in international climate change economics and politics to showcase the real response of nations towards combating the climate change status. This Climate Change Performance Index evaluates the progress of countries on the methodology of four Indicators (1.GHG EMISSION 40%, 2. RENEWABLE ENERGY 20%, 3. ENERGY USE 20%, 4. CLIMATE POLICY 20%) and so far, involves 57 countries in its inclusion study.
India’s performance in climate change performance index is laudable as it is for the first time ranked at 9th position due to its submitted INDC as well as adherence towards 175GW renewable energy goal implementation in action plan. India accounts for 4.5% of world GHG emission. India’s action in mitigation and adaptation plan influenced the researchers as it has gained its forest cover through its Compulsory Afforestation Act creating carbon sink. Further, SOLAR ALLIANCE and National Action Plan on climate change state action plan on climate change, FAME scheme for e-mobility, Ujjala Yojana replacing the traditional bulb with LED bulb and Swacch Bharat mission turned statistics in India’s favour which gained international encouragement, but India has still massive  challenges to be resolved  with respect to cleaning of rivers, food security and air pollution which is an uphill task to be settled.

CBDR principle of Paris agreement this time met with disappointment as carbon marketing Negotiators failed to reach an outcome on carbon markets. In the final hours of negotiations, over 30 governments joined behind Sanjones principle in an effort to preserve the integrity of carbon market rules and prevent loopholes and the ability for double-counting carbon credits as this mechanism was bed rock towards adaptation and mitigation factor to combat climate change. Further, the framework defined by Article 6 of the Paris Agreement is divided into three sections. Article 6.2 makes way for countries to go for bilateral and voluntary agreements to trade carbon credits. Article 6.4 ask for centralized governance system for countries and the private sector to trade emissions reduction anywhere based on the Sustainable Development Mechanism (SDM) to be substituted for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), made under the Kyoto Protocol text. This above-mentioned system created to reduce the economic burden and share this burden with cooperation in order to push the economy, such that sudden change in modus operandi may reduce the economic sector due to environment-friendly approach and impacts on industries. Now only the possibility and hope of climate activist and climate change action burden is shifted to COP-26 Glasgow which will be now or never action for climate change to save the mother earth from the monster of climate change.
Mr. Ashutosh Kumar is Former Legal Officer at Asian African Legal Consultative Organisation, New Delhi. Currently, He is a Visiting Professor at Maharishi University of Information Technology and JEMTEC School of Law. He can be reached at [email protected] alert-info

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