COP25 - UNFCCC

COP25 is the 25th meeting of the conference of parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It took place in Madrid (Spain) in December 2019. It is referred to as COP 2019 and is the longest COP to UNFCCC. The facts about COP25 are important from the IAS Exam perspective as the topic ‘climate change’ is significant for Environment and Ecology syllabus (UPSC Mains GS-III) preparation. Read on to the aims and outcomes of COP25.

The topic, COP25, is an important segment of the Environment and Ecology syllabus (Mains GS III) of the IAS Exam. Aspirants can prepare similar important environment topics by referring to the links below:

Aim of the COP25 of UNFCCC

The prime aim of the COP 2019 was to finalize the rulebook for the Paris Agreement. The Katowice rulebook that was the outcome of the COP24 could not bring resolution to all the issues related to global climate change action. Hence, a conference of parties met at the 25th meeting of UNFCCC to bring a finalized copy of the rulebook of the Paris Agreement.

Quick Introduction to Paris Agreement:

  • The Paris Agreement was signed in the COP21 of the UN Climate Change Conference of UNFCCC aiming to reduce and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs.)
  • The USA formally began its withdrawal from the Paris Accord in November 2019.

Read more on the Paris Agreement at the linked article.

Issues Discussed in COP25 of UNFCCC

The following issues that were unresolved in the COP24 were taken up in the COP25:

  1. Carbon Market
  2. GHGs emission reduction targets
  3. Individual targets of the member nations
  4. Other forms of international cooperation under “Article 6” of the Paris Agreement
  5. Functioning of international emissions trading systems
  6. Compensation for poor countries to deal with adverse impacts of climate change

Outcomes of the COP 2019/COP25

The discussion and talks on the issues yet again remain unresolved and have been pushed to COP26 which is decided to be taking place in November 2021. The UN Secretary-General termed the COP25 outcomes disappointing.

Overview of COP25 – Facts for UPSC

  1. The president of COP25 was Chile but the event that was originally scheduled to take place in the country was shifted to Madrid amid the violent anti-government protests in Chile’s capital, Santiago.
  2. Several reports were noted by the COP25 but no outcomes were reported:
    • The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Annual Report on Emission Gap was discussed – In its annual report, ‘Emissions Gap Report’ 2019 mentioned about the growing gap between actual emission reduction commitments by countries and those necessary to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
    • As per the UNEP report, the targets of the Paris Agreement will be out of reach unless the world begins to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the 1.5C goal of the Paris Agreement.
    • Global Carbon Project Report – The report stated the rise in the emissions from fossil fuels and industries in the year 2019 and 2020.
    • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report – The latest IPCC reports discussed lands, oceans and the cryosphere.
  3. The need of the countries to have a set agenda to mitigate GHGs was discussed but no defined actions were taken and a UNEP report that was released prior to the COP25 stated that “Emissions in 2030 will be 38% higher than required to meet that target.”
  4. Corporate Climate Movement – 177 companies at COP25 pledged to cut emissions in line with the 1.5C target as part of the Climate Ambition Alliance.
  5. The High-Level Panel for Sustainable Ocean Economy reiterated the adverse effects of climate change on the oceans. Also, 39 countries made commitments to include oceans in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs.)
  6. Reiteration of the Paris Ratchet Mechanism, also known as the Paris Ambition Mechanism that ensures that member nations reflect and progress their NDCs by raising ambitions to fight climate change over time.
  7. 80 countries stated their intention to enhance their NDCs by 2020, however, none of the biggest emitting countries was a part of it.
  8. European Commission referred to European Green Deal which they intend to make a law following which at least 25 per cent of the European Union’s long-term budget will be committed to climate action.

India at COP25

The major points concerning the role of India at COP 2019 are:

  1. India argued for the clarity over the promised provision of climate finance to the developing countries and countries in transition.
  2. It favoured efforts to boost adaptation and build capacity in poorer countries.
  3. India along with China and Brazil pushed for Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs) under Clean Development Mechanism (Decided in Kyoto Protocol) to be allowed under Article 6.4 mechanism under Paris Agreement; while EU and other countries were against the transition of these Kyoto units.
India’s NDCs Targets:

  1. India committed to achieving about 40 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil-fuel energy resources by 2030.
  2. To reduce the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33 to 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels
  3. To create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.

COP25 is an important COP to UNFCCC which in itself is an important environment convention. Aspirants are suggested to read about other similar environment conventions and protocols at the linked article.

COP25 – UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

Frequently Asked Questions about COP25

What was a reason behind the failure of COP25?

Poor and small-island nations exposed to climate-addled weather—drought, heatwaves, super-storms, rising seas—were especially incensed at behind-the-scenes US efforts to block a separate stream of money for “loss and damage.

What is the result of COP25?

The results of the conference were disappointing at a time when climate action and concrete measures are considered urgent. The decisions about the carbon market and emissions cuts were delayed to the next climate conference in Glasgow. The United States, Russia, India, China, Brazil and Saudi Arabia were the main opponents of these measures.

As Environment and Ecology are important sections of the IAS Exam, aspirants can refer to the below-mentioned links to aid their preparation:

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