(PT365)- Comprehensive coverage on Envirgnment
KATOWICE COP 24 The 24th Session of the of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 24) was held in Katowice, Poland. Agenda of COP 24: three key issues Finalization of guidelines/ modalities/rules for the implementation of Paris Agreement. Conclusion of 2018 Facilitative Talanoa Dialogue (to help countries implement NDC by 2020) The stocktake of Pre-2020 actions implementation and ambition
EUROPE MAP RUSSIA NITED POLAND GERMANY UKRAINE FRANCE SPAIN
Key outcomes Accounting Guidance Rules to guide the countries for their Climate pledges ("nationally determined contributions", NDCs) o All countries "shall" use the latest emissions accounting guidance from the IPCC, last updated in 2006. carbon credits i.e. overachievement of NDCs Following is the status on this front: o Market mechanisms: This provides for the trading of
The schemes and methodologies for the implementation of Sustainable Development Mechanism- SDM would be discussed in COP-25. The SDM is intended to replace the Kyoto Protocol's "Clean Development Mechanism" (CDM) for carbon offsets. Overall Mitigation in Global Emissions (OMGE): It is a central and critical new element under the Paris Agreement, that takes carbon markets beyond the offsetting approaches of the existing markets like the CDM. The primary purpose of OMGE is to deliver on cost-effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions, rather than creating carbon markets for their own sake. Small island countries wanted a mandatory automatic cancellation or discounting for an OMGE applied to all the activities under market mechanism.
Climate finance reporting: Developed country Parties shall biennially communicate indicative quantitativee and qualitative information on programmes, including projected levels, channels and instruments, as available public financial resources to be provided to developing country Parties. Other Parties providing resources are encouraged to communicate biennially such information on a voluntary basis. The UNFCCC secretariat to establish a dedicated online portal for posting and recording the biennial communications. Global stocktake: Paris Agreement requires the CMA (Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement) to periodically take stock of the implementation of the Paris Agreement and to assess collective progress towards achieving the purpose of the Agreement and its long-term goals. This process is called the global stocktake.
The rules set the structure for the stocktake process, which is to be divided into three stages: nformation collection, technical assessment e consideration of outputs. . Transparency: The purpose of the transparency framework is to provide a clear understanding of climate change action in the light of the objective of the Paris Convention. This includes clarity and tracking of progress towards achieving Parties' individual NDCs, and Parties' adaptation actions, including good practices and gaps, to inform the global stocktake.
eLoss and damage: Loss and damage caused by the unavoidable impacts of climate change was a touchstone issue for vulnerable countries, such as small island developing states. The rulebook mentions this issue, however, in a diluted version. Other matters: o COP decided that the "adaptation fund"-a financial mechanism set up under the Kyoto Protocol - should continue under the Paris Agreement. o Talanoa Dialogue: The final text simply "invited" countries to "consider" the outcomes of the Talanoa dialogue in preparing their NDCs and in efforts to enhance pre-2020 ambition.
Pre-2020: With respect to the "pre-2020" commitments o -first agreed by developed countries in 2010 in Cancun - the COP called for developed countries to ratify the Doha Amendment so that it can enter into force. This would extend the Kyoto Protocol on developed country emissions till 2020. o The COP also "strongly urges" developed countries to increase their financial support in line with the promise to jointly mobilise $100bn per year in climate finance to poorer countries by 2020. per y earin dimate finan ce to porer cunTies boy $100n "Welcoming' the IPCC 1.5 C report: Despite the majority of countries speaking in favour of the report, four countries - the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait - refused to "welcome" the report. The COP welcome its timely completion.
Analysis of the outcomes e Provision diluted: Rules on financial contributions by developed countries have been diluted making it very difficult to hold them accountable. Now, developed countries have the choice to include all kinds of financial instruments, concessional and non-concessional loans, grants, aids etc, from various public and private sources, to meet their commitments. Developed countries now have the freedom to decide the amount and the kind of financial resources they want to give to the developing countries and do this without any strong mechanism of accountability Loss and damage: The Warsaw International Mechanism, which has to deal with averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change, has no financial resources to support vulnerable Global stocktake : The non- Policy prescriptive rulebook for GST ensures that the process will neither give any recommendation to individual countries or a group of countries, nor will it give any prescriptive policy to everyone. This would result in collection of a lot of technical information without any clear recommendation to increase ambition on mitigation or finance. e
Also, equity has been mentioned in the text, but there is no mechanism to operationalize it. There is no firm decision on OMGE mechanism. Also, the rulebook has different rules for different markets, which is non-transparent and makes emissions reductions unverifiable. Trading is allowed for sectors which are not covered in a country's emissions targets, which will dilute the overall mitigation effect. Countries are on their own: The Paris Agreement had both bottom- up and top-down elements. Most of the top-down elements have been diluted in the rulebook. The Paris Agreement and its rulebook is now a totally 'self-determined' process.
Double counting" means counted once by the country of origin when reporting its emissions inventory, and again by the receiving country (or o their ther entity) when justifying emissions above pledged climate effort, usually via "offsetting" provisions. e Allowing trades to be double counted means that, in actuality, none of the reported emissions reductions are achieved.
AICHI TARGETS The 'Aichi Target' adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at its Nagoya conference. In the COP-10 meeting, the parties agreed that previous biodiversity protection targets are not achieved, So we need to do come up with new plans and targets The short term plan provides a set of 20 ambitious yet achievable targets, collectively known as the Aichi Targets. Strategic Goal A: Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity across government and society 1. Make people aware about the values of biodiversity 2. Integrated biodiversity values in development +poverty reduction plan 3. Subsidies which are harmful to biodiversity and eliminate them, phase them out or reform them 4. Sustainable production and consumption
COASTAL REGULATION ZONE (CRZ) NOTIFICATION 2018 The Union Cabinet has approved the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2018 Background To conserve and protect the coastal environment, and to promote sustainable development based on scientific principles Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC), under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, notified the CRZ Notification in 1991, subsequently revised in 2011 e Various Coastal States/UTs, besides other stakeholders, were demanding for a comprehensive review of the CRZ Notification, 2011, particularly related to the management and conservation of marine and coastal eco-systems, development in coastal areas, eco-tourism, livelihood option and sustainable development of coastal communities etc.
NDZ of 20 meters has been stipulated for all Islands: in the wake of space limitations and unique geography and to bring uniformity in treatment of such regions. . All Ecologically Sensitive Areas have been accorded special importance: Through Specific guidelines related to their conservation and management plans. Pollution abatement has been accorded special focus: By permitting construction of treatment facilities in CRZ-I B area subject to necessary safeguards. . Defence and strategic projects have been accorded necessary dispensation
Benefits Enhanced activities in the coastal regions thereby promoting economic growth while also respecting the conservation principles of coastal regions Boost tourism in terms of more activities, more infrastructure and more opportunities in creating employment opportunities. opportunities for development of densely populated rural areasin the CRZs. o CRZ, 2018 is also in sync with the thrust being given to port-led industrialisation and the Coastal Economic Zones projects. Additional opportunities for affordable housingwhich will benefit not only the housing sector but the people at large looking for shelter. It is expected to rejuvenate the coastal areas while reducing their vulnerabilities
Concerns The new notification has done away with or diluted many stringent restrictions in place at coastal areas. The emphasis of the new CRZ norms is on promotion of tourism facilities, quicker dispensation of defence and strategic projects and liberal licensing for the installation of treatment plants Eco-sensitive regions could see flurry of construction activity thereby hampering the coastal eco system and biodiversity The notification violates the balance between ecosystem and development. The mandatory 50 m buffer zone for mangrove forest in private land with an expanse of more than 1,000 sq m has been done away with The fishermen are worried that the entry of the tourism sector will attract the real estate lobbies, who will eventually displace the coastal community and deny them the access to the seas o Further, the reduction of NDZ is done without taking consideration of sea level rise. The coastline is already vulnerable due to erosion, fresh water crisis and loss of livelihoods. The new changes will only increase this vulnerability and promote commercialisation of the coast The Hazard Line, mapped by the Survey of India has, however, been de-linked from the CRZ regulatory regime and will be used only as a tool for disaster management and planning of adaptive and mitigation measures The treatment facilities, allowed in CRZ-I to reduce coastal pollution, means several ecologically fragile areas will have sewage treatment plants transferring pollution from land to sea
SEA LEVEL RISE
SEA LEVEL RISE IN INDIA CONTEXT As per the study by Hyderabad-based Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, Sea levels along the Indian coast are projected to rise between 3.5 inches to 34 inch (2.8 feet) by the end of century due to global warming. e Impact of Sea Level Rise Large-scale displacement: A large population in the world lives along coastal areas (about 10% of world's population), a sea level rise will force a large population to migrate from coastal areas creating huge economic and social costs. A disruption in socio-economic life and large scale internal and external migration may crate social strife across nations.
Impact on India:Mumbai and other west coast stretches such as Khambat and Kutch in Gujrat, parts of Konkan and South Kerala are most vulnerable to sealevel rise. Deltas of Ganga, Krishna, Godavari, Cauvery and Mahanadi are also threatened. 171 million people live in coastal districts who are at risk due to sea level rise which is about 14.2% of India's Population
Adaptation to Sea Level Rise o Adaptation options to sea level rise can be broadly classified into retreat, accommodate and protect. Retreating is moving people and infrastructure to less exposed areas and preventing further development in areas that are at risk. This type of adaptation is potentially disruptive, as displacement of people might lead to tensions. Accommodation options are measurements that make societies more flexible to sea level rise. Examples are the cultivation of food crops that tolerate a high salt content in the soil and making new building standards which require building to be built higher and have less damage in the case a flood does occur. Protect: areas can be protected by the construction of dams, dikes and by improving natural defenses. These adaptation options can be further divided into hard and soft. e o e o Hard adaptation relies mostly on capital-intensive human-built infrastructure and involves large-scale changes to human societies and ecological systems. Because of its large scale, it is often not flexible. e o Soft adaptation involves strengthening natural defenses and adaptation strategies in local communities and the use of simple and modular technology, which can be locally owned. The two types of adaptation might be complementary or mutually exclusive
SEABED 2030 CONTEXT The U.N.-backed project Seabed 2030 is pooling data from the countries and companies to create a map of the entire ocean floor. About Seabed 2030: e It aims to bring together all available bathymetric data (measures of depth and shape of the seafloor) to produce the definitive map of the world ocean floor by 2030 and make it available to all. e It is a collaborative project between the Nippon Foundation and General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO), The project was launched at the United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference in June 2017 and is aligned with the UN's Sustainable Development Goal #14 to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources. e Central to the Seabed 2030 strategy is the creation of Regional Data Assembly and Coordination Centres (RDACCs), with each having a defined ocean region of responsibility. A board will be established for each region consisting of local experts to identify existing bathymetric data, and to help coordinate new bathymetric surveys
Significance Sea-bed Mapping Bathymetric data from the deep ocean is critical for studying marine geology and geophysics. For example, Bathymetric data obtained in 1950s and '60s led to modern understanding of Plate tectonics. The shape of the seabed is a crucial parameter for understanding ocean circulation patterns as well as an important variable for accurately forecasting tsunami wave propagation. Bathymetric data illuminates the study of tides, wave action, sediment transport underwater geo-hazards, cable routing, resource exploration, extension of continental shelf (UN Law of the Sea treaty issues), military and defence applications. In coastal regions, bathymetry underpins marine and maritime spatial planning and decision-making, navigation safety, and provides a scientific basis for models of storm surges, while also informing our understanding of marine ecosystems and habitats Detailed knowledge of bathymetry is a fundamental prerequisite for attaining an improved understanding of the subsea processes.
Challenges Even using the RDACC model, the goal of mapping the entire world ocean is a significant challenge Crowdsourcing bathymetric data from fishing vessels and recreational small boats etc. represents one approach for gathering information in shallower water regions, but is less efficient. Deep water mapping remains a major challenge due to the cost involved and the limited number of available research vessels that are equipped with modern deep, water multibeam sonars. Way forward o Reach out to the national and international funding agencies, to get adequate funding to support Seabed 2030 vision. Keeping up with technology overtime to make sure that processes, products and services are forward looking and well-positioned to make use of new technologies as they become available. o . Given the sheer size of the ocean the Seabed 2030 goals can only be achieved through international coordination and collaboration
GUIDELINES FOR GROUND WATER EXTRACTION
GUIDELINES FOR GROUND WATER EXTRACTION Context e The Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) notified revised guidelines for ground water (GW) extraction to be effective from 1st June 2019. . Brief Background India is the largest user of ground water in the world about 25% of the global ground water extraction. Out of the total of 6584 assessment units, 1034 have been categorized as 'Over- exploited"; 253 as Critical'; 681 as Semi-Critical, and 96 assessment units have been classified as Saline The Easement Act, 1882, provides every landowner with the right to collect and dispose, within his own limits, all water under the land and on the surface. Landowners are not legally liable for any damage caused to water resources as a result of over-extraction . . In its various orders, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the CGWA to regulate the GW extraction by various users through system of registrations and No Objection Certificate (NOC) and user fees with a limit on quantum of GW to be extracted. In compliance with the NGT orders, the CGWA had circulated the draft guidelines for grant of 'No Objection Certificate' on the 11th October 2017
. Exemptions Exemption from requirement of NOC has been given to agricultural users, users employing non-energised means to extract water, individual households (using less than 1 inch diameter delivery pipe) and Armed Forces Establishments during operational deployment or during mobilization in forward locations. o Other exemptions (with certain requirements) have been granted to strategic and operational infrastructure projects for Armed Forces, Defence and Paramilitary Forces Establishments and Government water supply agencies in safe and semi critical areas.
Issues with the Policy Guidelines Rather than banning extraction of groundwater in areas which have been alarmingly overexploited, the government has made the issue negotiable. Experts say the more one pays, the more they can withdraw water. NGT also, expressed its concern stating that merely imposing a cost was not enough to curb groundwater extraction. e The draft rules, which were released in 2017 for public suggestions, had done away with the mandatory limit of reuse of water extracted by the industries. This is when the earlier set of rules had very specific limits depending upon the type of area. It ranged from 40 per cent to 100 per cent depending on if the area was safe, semi-critical, critical or over-exploited for groundwater. However, those limits do not exist anymore Agriculture, amounting 90% of the annual ground water extraction is kept out of regulations. Only an indicative list of demand side measures are provided to minimise the water uses. All categories exempted from requirement of NOC shall also be exempted from paying WCF. WCF rates are too low to discourage the GW extraction Textiles industry would be hurt a lot due to its heavy water dependency.