Yesterday, President Donald Trump announced the US withdrawal from Paris climate accord and also put the charge of financial benefit to other nations notably India and China.
The decision comes as a massive blow to environmentalists, but what can you expect from a vicious man of political melodrama?
We will see the story in the form of some simple questions.
1. What is Paris Climate Accord(COP21)?
Ans. The International political response to climate change begun at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992.
The summit set out an action framework aimed at stabilising atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases to avoid “Dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate”.
A. In 2015, COP21 was held also know as Paris Climate Conference, for the first time aimed to achieve a legitimately binding and universal agreement on climate. The main aim of the agreement was to keep global warming below 2°C.
B. This UN agreement was signed by 195 countries at the COP21 climate conference in Paris in December 2015.
C. This accord came in drive last year and so far has been ratified by 147 countries including the US.
D. Those who had ratified are lawfully bound to follow Paris Climate accord.
E. Russia is the only country among top 10 polluters who had not ratified the agreement but had signed it.
F. The US now falls in the category of Syria and Nicaragua who are not the part of Paris agreement.
G. However, Nicaragua has not signed because they found agreement is not ambitious enough and does not punish countries who do not take necessary measures to curb global warming.
H. Nicaragua, a Central American country is on pace to have 80% of its energy come from renewable sources.
2. What pledge did US and India make in Paris Agreement?
(I) US :-
The US had pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emission by 26 to 28% compared to 2005 levels by the year 2025.
A. CO2 equivalent emission by the US in 2005= 7.4 Billion tonnes
B. 26-28% of 7.4 Billion tonnes= 1.9-2.0 Billion tonnes
C. The US pledged to reduce its CO2 equivalent emission to 5.4 to 5.5 Billion tonnes by 2025.
As now, CO2 equivalent emission by the US is 6.8 Billion tonnes.
In Paris Agreement, India promised to accomplish three main goals which are as follows:
A. To bring down emission intensity (the emission per unit GDP) by 33 to 35% from 2005 level by 2030.
B. To generate 40% of total electricity by the year 2030 from non-fossil fuel sources.
C. To increase forest cover to create carbon sink of about 2.5 to 3.0 Billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
3. How much has India achieved their goals till date for climate change?
Ans. India already had started their journey towards the better world. They are installing solar and wind energy plants at a larger scale with very good pace.
A. The Indian government has planned 57% of their electrical energy from renewable sources by 2027, which is 17% more than that they had pledged in Paris Agreement.
B. Notably, All of the India’s renewable energy programmes are being carried out with its own technology.
C. India’s Energy minister has been appealing wealthier nations to invest in programmes to help the India to exceeds the target.
D. As of now, Japan’s soft bank and French state-owned energy company EDF has committed to invest $20 Billion and $2 Billion respectively in India’s renewable energy project.
E. In India, the price of solar energy has fallen by 50% in past five years due to technology advancement driven by the transformational forecast.
4. Will the US get immediate relief from this agreement?
According to Christiana Figueres, the former head of United Nation Climate Change Body “the US will not officially be out of the agreement for four years from the date it went into effect: 4 November 2016”, therefore the US will only exit the day after 2020 US election.
Apparently, White House has no idea about how an International treaty works.
5. How other countries reacted after the US withdrawal from Paris Agreement?
Ans. Till now very few countries have reacted on this issue:
A. The leaders of Britain, France, Canada, Germany, Italy and Japan as well as UN Chief had hoped to pressure Trump into respecting the US pledge for climate change.
B. Italy, Germany and France said in the rare joint statement that they were firmly convinced that the agreement cannot be renegotiated.
6. How is the US withdrawal from Paris Agreement going to affect the climate change mission?
Ans. The US absence from the agreement will hurt the world most because:
A. The US is World’s second largest polluter, after withdrawal, the US will definitely overtake China to gain the first position.
B. In Paris Agreement, all the developed countries agreed to mobilise more than the US $100 Billion funds in climate finance every year from 2025.
C. As the world’s most powerful country, US is key to mobilising these funds and also providing the latest technology to the rest of the world.