1. U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity, COP 15 commences in Montreal, Canada
The United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, known as Conference of Parties (COP-15) commenced in Montreal, Canada on 7 December 2022. The two weeklong conference (7-19 December 2022) was originally scheduled to be held in Kunming, China in October but was shifted to Montreal, Canada due to covid situation in China.
This is the second part of the COP15. The first part was hosted by China on 18 August 2021 virtually and the second part was to be held in a face to face conference but it has been shifted from China to Canada. However the host of the COP15 in Montreal is still China.
The Conference focuses on saving the nature
The Biological diversity conference focuses on nature. It is different from the UNFCCC (United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change ) organised Conference of Parties(CoP) which focuses on the problem of global warming and climate change due to emission of greenhouse gasses.
The Biological Diversity conference will focus on nature and how to stop and reverse the degradation of our nature by 2030.
Main issues that will be discussed at the Montreal conference are;
- One of the most notable draft targets is to conserve 30% of land and sea areas globally by 2030.
- It will aim to adopt a global framework for biodiversity to halt and reverse losses of the world's plants, animals, and ecosystems.
- Fair and equitable sharing of the benefits of natural genetics resources.
United Nation Convention on Biological Diversity
It is a multilateral treaty which was signed by the countries at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. It came into force on 29 December 1993. At present 194 countries are its signatories.
It has 3 main objectives:
- The conservation of Biological diversity
- The sustainable use of the components of biological diversity
- The fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.
Conferences of the Parties/COP
- Countries which have signed the conventions are called Conferences of the Parties. The meeting of the Conferences of the Parties is also called COP
- The first COP -1 was held in Nassau, Bahamas 1994.
- The 14th meeting was held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt (17-19 November 2018)
- It is held after every two years but due to covid it was held in 2021.
2. BASIC group ministerial meeting held at the COP27 in Egypt
The Ministers of Brazil, South Africa, India and China (BASIC group) met on 15 November 2022 at the 27th Conference of Parties (COP 27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
The meeting was chaired by the South African Environment minister Barbara Creecy and was attended by the Indian Environment minister Bhupendra Yadav, Brazilian Environment minister Joaquim Leite, Chinese special envoy on Climate change XIE Zhenhua.
Currently South Africa is the chairman of the BASIC group and it rotates annually amongst the member countries.
The ministers pledged their full support to the Egyptian COP27 Presidency for a successful conference. They emphasised the principle of common but different responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of national circumstances.
They expressed concern that the developed countries are not keeping up their promise of providing USD 100 billion per year financial aid to the Developing countries to deal with the adverse effect of climate change. In the 15th Conference of Parties meeting at Copenhagen, Denmark in 2009. The developed countries had promised such aid to the developing countries.
The BASIC Group of countries was formed by India, Brazil, South Africa and China in November 2009 just before the 15th Conference of Parties (COP) meeting at Copenhagen, Denmark in 2009.
The group was formed so as to collectively bargain with the Developed countries on issues such as reduction of greenhouse gasses and need of climate financing.
Brazil, South Africa, India and China together have one-third of the world's geographical area and nearly 40% of the world’s population.
China is the largest emitter of Carbon dioxide in the world and India is the third largest .The United States is the second largest emitter of Carbon dioxide in the world.
3. India hosts LeadIT Summit with Sweden at COP27, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
India and Sweden hosted the LeadIT (Leadership for Industry Transition) Summit, on 15 November 2022 on the side-lines of Conference of Parties (COP) 27 being held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt from 6-18 November 2022. The initiative focuses on low carbon transition of the industrial sector which is a major source of carbon emission in the world.
Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav co-hosted the summit with the Swedish Minister for Climate and the Environment Ms. Romina Pourmokhtari.
Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT)
The Leadership Group for Industry Transition (LeadIT) was launched by the governments of Sweden and India at the UN Climate Action Summit in September 2019 at New York City, United States of America.
It brings together countries and companies that are committed to action to achieve the 2016 Paris Agreement on reduction of carbon emission.
The LeadIT members are committed to achieving a net zero carbon emission.
4. "In our LiFEtime" Campaign launched by India at COP 27
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), jointly launched the “In Our LiFEtime” campaign at an event of the COP 27 in Egypt on 14th November 2022.
The campaign aims to encourage youth between the age group of 18 to 23 years to become the messengers of sustainable lifestyles.
The concept of LiFE was introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at COP 26 in Glasgow on 1 November 2021.
The campaign seeks to recognize young people around the world leading climate action initiatives that resonate with the concept of LiFE.
Under this campaign youth will be encouraged to submit their climate actions which contribute lifestyle for the environment within their capacity.
Youth are able to popularise new habits, adopt different technologies and are in a better position to contribute to the fight against climate change.
Young people need to make low-carbon career choices and adopt such lifestyles as a part of their daily lives.
5. Pakistan and Bangladesh will be among first to receive G7 'Global Shield' climate funding
Pakistan, Ghana, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Fiji, Philippines and Senegal will be among the first recipients of funding from a G7 'Global Shield' initiative to provide funding to countries suffering from climate disasters. It was announced by Germany on 14 November 2022 at the ongoing COP27 summit in Egypt.
Global Shield climate Finance
It was launched by the G 7 countries (United States of America, Canada, France, Italy, United Kingdom and Japan) at the COP27 summit in Egypt on 14 November 2022.
The Global Shield will be coordinated by Germany and is being developed in collaboration with the 'V20' group of 58 climate vulnerable economies.
Aim of the fund
- The fund will be used to help low-income and vulnerable countries to deal with climate induced calamities.
- It aims to strengthen social protection schemes and climate risk insurance so when an extreme weather event like flooding occurs, countries can access aid quickly and recover.
- Germany has announced that it will contribute USD 172 million to the fund. However the size of the fund has not been disclosed.
Demand for special Loss and Damage Fund
- Global warming induced climate change has badly affected the developing countries who don't have the resources to deal with such natural calamities like floods, drought etc.
- The developing countries have been demanding that the polluting countries (Developed countries) shall pay for the loss and damage suffered by the poor developing countries due to climate change.
- After years of resistance by the developed countries, they have agreed to discuss a special loss and damage fund in the COP 27 meeting being held in Sharm -el Sheik ,Egypt from 6-18 November 2022.
- The "Global Shield" initiative is being seen as one of step to address such funding.
6. Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Indonesia to attend the 17th G20 Summit in Bali
The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be on a three day (14-16 November) visit to Indonesia to attend the 17th G20 Summit in Bali. He will leave India on 14th November 2022 .The 17th G-20 Summit will be held in Bali on 15 and 16 November 2022.
Giving the information the Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said during the G-20 summit the leaders will deliberate extensively upon key issues of global concern under the Summit theme of 'Recover Together, Recover Stronger'.
Three working sessions will be held as part of the G20 Summit Agenda. These are food and energy security, health, and digital transformation.
Indonesia to hand over the Presidency to India
According to Kwatra at the closing session of the Summit, the Indonesia President will symbolically hand over the G20 Presidency to Prime Minister Modi. India will formally assume the G20 Presidency from 1st December this year. India will host the next G20 summit in September next year.
During the G20 Presidency, India-Indonesia-Brazil would be the troika. This would be the first time in G20 that the troika would consist of three developing countries and emerging economies in a row.
The G20 Summit programme also includes a Leaders' visit to amangrove forestin Bali on the 16th of this month.
The Foreign Secretary said that on the sidelines of the Summit, Prime Minister Modi will have several bilateral interactions with the G20 leaders.
G-20 is a group of 19 leading developed and developing countries and the European Union. It has emerged as an influential group to deliberate on pressing world issues. G20 members represent around 85 percent of the global GDP, over 75 percent of the global trade and about two thirds of the world's population.
7. COP27 presidency launches Sharm-el-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda
At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Egypt, the COP27 Presidency launched the Sharm-el-Sheikh Adaptation Agenda to enhance resilience for the four billion people living in the most climate-sensitive communities by 2030.
The Sharm-el-Sheikh adaptation agenda represents a significant contribution to elevating global action on adaptation and resilience as a top priority.
Each outcome presents a global solution that can be adopted locally to respond to local climate contexts, needs and risks
This will help bring about the necessary changes in mechanisms to protect vulnerable communities from increasing climate hazards, such as extreme heat, drought, floods, or extreme weather.
Developing countries also demanded that the fund should be easily accessible.
It aims to reduce the devastating effects of climate change.
The presidency sought to raise $140 billion to $300 billion to advance these goals.
Developing countries, including India, are asking rich countries to agree to a new global climate finance target, also known as the New Collective Quantitative Target on Climate Finance.
These actions will be carried out in five impact systems – Food and Agriculture, Water and Nature, Coastal and Ocean, Human Settlements, and Infrastructure.
These actions will include enabling solutions to plan and finance these areas.
8. India joins MAC, at 27th session of COP27 in Egypt
India has joined the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC) at the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP27) at Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt.
After joining the alliance, India called for the integration of mangrove conservation with reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD) programs for carbon sequestration.
Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said studies have shown that mangrove forests can absorb four to five times more carbon emissions than landed tropical forests.
What are Mangroves?
These are small trees and shrubs that grow along the coast and thrive in salt water and develop into unique forests on land and sea shore.
Mangrove ecosystems are one of the most productive and ecologically important ecosystems in the world.
They offer significant climate change mitigation and adaptation co-benefits because they are able to store carbon up to 400 percent faster than land-based tropical rainforests.
They protect coastal areas from rising sea levels, erosion and storms and provide breeding grounds for marine biodiversity.
About 80 percent of the world's fish population depend on these ecosystems for their survival.
India contributes about half of the total mangrove cover in South Asia and the Sundarbans in West Bengal has the highest percentage of mangrove cover in India.
West Bengal has the highest percentage of mangrove cover in India. It is followed by Gujarat and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Maharashtra, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Kerala also have mangroves.
About Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC)
MAC is an intergovernmental coalition that seeks to accelerate the conservation and restoration of mangrove ecosystems.
India is among the first five countries to join the MAC, which includes Australia, Japan, Spain and Sri Lanka.
9. India organises International Conference on “Citizen-centric energy transition: Empowering citizens with Mission LiFE (Lifestyles for Environment) at the COP27 in Egypt
The Indian government organised an International Conference on “Citizen-centric energy transition: Empowering citizens with Mission LiFE (Lifestyles for Environment)” on 8 November 2022 at the India Pavilion at the ongoing Conference of Parties (COP-27) at Sharm-El-Sheikh in Egypt.
The International conference was organised by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the Ministry of Power, Government of India, in partnership with Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).
The COP 27 conference is being organized by the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with Egypt being the host country in Sharm-El-Sheikh from 6 -18 November 2022.
The Conference held discussion on ways to accelerate the deployment of energy efficient and low carbon technologies as well as market investment to facilitate and strengthen the global energy transition.
10. UN chief calls for a climate solidarity pact between developed and emerging economies
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for a climate solidarity pact in which developed and emerging economies unite around a common strategy and mobilise resources to address the climate crisis.
At the opening of the COP27 United Nations Climate Summit of the Parties in Egypt on 7 November, he said the proposed treaty would give all countries additional efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
He said the international financial system must be reformed to support low-income countries.
At the inaugural session of world leaders at COP27, he said all countries should make "extra effort" to cut emissions and end the construction of coal plants.
He said the two largest economies — the United States and China — have a particular responsibility to join efforts to make this pact a reality.
Chinese President Xi Jinping did not attend COP27, although China has sent a delegation of negotiators.
Guterres also launched a plan for a global early warning system for extreme weather events, a project that would cost $3.1 billion over the first five years.
It will also deliver advance warnings about any extreme weather on the planet such as storms and heat waves.
COP27 is the 27th annual meeting of the United Nations on Climate. It is taking place in Sharm El Sheikh until 18 November.