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Tough diplomatic act for Indian-origin UK minister Alok Shamra in UN climate talks

The India Print 2020-02-14 13:10:52

NEW DELHI: Indian-origin Alok Sharma, who was named the UK's new Minister to steer the crucial UN climate talks, has immense challenges and pressure ahead and this is often the primary real test post-Brexit, climate experts said on Friday.

On the appointment of Sharma, promoted to the post of Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Cabinet reshuffle, Britain-based Christian Aid's Global Climate Lead, Kat Kramer, said "Taking on the fragile and grave task of ensuring these crucial talks succeed may be a huge responsibility for the united kingdom and its role on the worldwide stage.

"It would are an enormous task had Alok Sharma been in post from the start , instead of coming in late within the process. It's now vital they work very closely with the backing of the Prime Minister to both get other countries to plan to new pledges to tackle the climate crisis.

"For developing countries this may require technological and support in order that they can leapfrog our dirty development path and increase their resilience to climate impacts. so as to be a reputable host, the united kingdom must rapidly intensify efforts to scale back emissions reception , not just boast about its 2050 net zero target."

With the newest data showing global warming-causing emissions still on the increase , this year almost 200 countries are set to submit present strengthened national climate plans.

In the last climate talks in Spain, India, China, Brazil and a few developing countries had did not convince the planet to evolve rules for trading internationally carbon credits which help them decarbonize economies at a lower cost.

There was also a complete collapse on drawing a roadmap for long-term finance from developed to developing countries.

In the last COP the countries failed miserably to agree unanimously on Article 6 of the crucial Paris Agreement rulebook concerning the carbon markets system because the two-week lengthy negotiations concluded two days past the official deadline.

Article 6 of the Paris Agreement provides guidelines on how international climate markets will work, as a key component of the world's economic toolbox for addressing global climate change .

It allows emission reductions to be implemented in one country and therefore the credit to be transferred to a different and be counted towards its commitments (known as nationally determined contributions or NDC).

At the last climate talks, the developed world took the stand of not allowing the 'junk' carbon market, which allows buying and selling of carbon emissions, and emerged under the Kyoto Protocol adopted in December 1997 to continue within the existing mechanism under the Paris Agreement that's coming into force from January 2021.

They blamed faulty mechanism and loopholes within the existing system that did not prevent double-counting of carbon credits and wanted a replacement mechanism to be put in situ .

Several countries like India are demanding to hold forward the old carbon credits earned also by companies to satisfy new climate targets.

The carbon system allows countries to scale back their emission reduction targets by accumulating and trading in carbon credits.

As per rough estimates, nations cuddle to 4 billion unsold certified emission reductions (CERs). India features a depository of 750 million and China has far more than India.

One CER equals to at least one tonne of CO2 . The CERs help companies earn billions of dollars by trading them. Currently, there's market but no platform .

Climate experts said that the sole grace for India, China and Brazil was that they didn't allow the developed nations to completely reject the carbon trade mechanism, still a key component for the complete operationalization of the Paris global climate change Agreement.

This issue will now be discussed, among other issues, within the next round of UN climate negotiations that Britain are going to be hosting in Glasgow, Scotland, from November 9 to twenty .

Feeling far more must be done, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has set 10 climate priority areas for this year.

These include securing commitments from the most emitters of more ambitious national commitments, all countries coming forward with 2050 carbon neutrality commitments, increasing the ambition of national commitments in sectors that weren't fully taken in account within the past and curtailing current coal capacity and ensuring no more new coal power plants are built after 2020.