Nandini Consultancy Centre, a chemical engineering and chemical business consultancy organisation based at Chennai and Singapore, has just released a commentary on Paris Climate Conference under the title
“ Tall targets and uncertain strategies of the Paris climate conference and India’s ambitious targets”
The commentary, that consist of 214 slides with figures, tables and analysis, discusses about the complex issues involved in global climate management and critically reviews the targets and strategies arrived at Paris climate conference (COP21).
The promises made by India with regard to climate management has been discussed in detail, particularly with regard to impediments on the way and the feasibility of attaining the target.
Various aspects discussed in the study include the following :
- Past and present climate scenario and its impact
- Grave future scenario, if climate change remains unmanaged
- Various challenges in tackling climate change issues
- Details on past climate agreements in the world forums
- Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) of several countries for climate management
- Key positives and shortfalls of targets and strategies proposed in the COP21 conference
- Critical examination of India’s ambitious promises and the feasibility of fulfilling them
- Need for appropriate strategies by India to meet the twin objectives of meeting the emission mitigation target and tackling impending energy crisis
- Where would the world go from here?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Swaminathan Venkataraman, Chemical Engineer & MBA, with around twenty years of standing experience in Europe and Singapore, in functions related to Chemical Business Management and Environmental issues.
He is now Director, Nandini Consultancy (S) Pte. Ltd., Singapore.
Highlights of the commentary are given below.
|S.No.||Particulars||Price per copy
inclusive of service tax
and speed post charges
|1.||Soft copy as pdf in ppt format, consisting of 214 slides||Rs.1,750/-
(Rupees one thousand seven hundred and fifty only)
|2.||Hard copy and soft copy||Rs.2,650/-
(Rupees two thousand six hundred and fifty only)
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The report would be sent immediately on receipt of the order along with the payment.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE COMMENTARY ON PARIS CLIMATE CONFERENCE
After the initial excitement and euphoria over the draft agreement on climate issues arrived at the Paris climate conference, careful study of the proceedings, deliberations and agreements arrived at the conference, cannot but make one suspect that the conference may have ended as a talk show,with several uncertainties and conflicts of interests remaining unresolved.
Paris climate summit acknowledges the need to aggressively address climate change, but it fails to detail with clarity as to how that will be done.
Aggregate pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions made by the nation states of the world fail far short of what is needed to begin to address the looming catastrophic climate change.
Interest and responsibilities of the participating countries diverge widely, ranging from the post industrial economies of the global north to industrializing nations such as China and India to the most vulnerable nations already facing climate change disruptions such as Kiribati, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
US$ 100 bn funding has been promised by developed countries to help the developing countries to achieve the target for climate management. However, there is no binding agreement to do so and it is viewed as voluntary offer.
Agreement fails to acknowledge the need to decarbonize the world economy, by not mentioning fossil fuels such as crude oil, coal in the agreement.
The agreement sets a floor on conduct of countries but not the ceiling on what people in the world have a right to demand from the governments of the world.
Targets fixed during the conference remain voluntary and the required actions are unspecified and appear daunting.
The decision to conduct review of a 1.5 deg C warming limit by 2018 may come too late, as the world is well on the way to 1.5 deg C with present greenhouse gas levels. It now appears that staying below 2 deg C warming is in itself a formidable task.
Paris deal may be the best deal that could have been struck given the limits of the political economic environment, but that does not mean that it has done what is necessary to protect the life support systems of the actual environment.
Economic impact of large scale reduction of reliance on fossil fuels is untested and not clear and have been conspicuous by lack of detailed discussions during the conference.
Political risks – Political direction of USA?
Currently, in USA all the leading Republican candidates for 2016 Presidential election oppose significant policy measures to mitigate climate change and most have distanced themselves from mainstream scientific views.
A new skeptical Republican President may abandon Obama Administration’s current climate change commitments, including its emissions reductions target for 2025 and, in effect may withdraw support for the Paris Agreement. He may undermine Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts via the Clean Air Act to curb emissions from power stations. If Republicans retain clear majorities in the House and Senate after 2016, additional legislative and fiscal initiatives to thwart mitigation efforts are highly probable.
Political risks – Political direction of China?
Will China stick true to its commitment if it faces a large economic downturn as is forecast by leading economists, as it is shifting from a manufacturing/investment led to consumption led economy
Will the talk lead to results ?
Real work on decisions made during COP21, has to begin now and in earnest globally by all major countries. Agreements-in-principle needs to be translated into action by individual member countries. Developed nations need to determine their projected peak emissions level plan with urgency
This requires more specific and aggressive policies in a massive expansion of clean energy investment and industry needs to plan to shift away from fossil fuels.
While developing nations are allowed more flexibility due to rising population and pollution levels due to economic growth, they need to make a careful assessment of total cost of polluting with fossil fuels and the cleanup thereafter and hence decide their fossil fuel based energy profile carefully.
The first revisiting of 2025 and 2030 goals will come in 2018, with another stock taking review in 2023.
Going by current trends in global warming, the earth would have become warmer in 2018 by 0.1deg.C compared to 2015 levels, moving closer to the target of 1.5 deg C warming levels. There is little time to act.
India’s ambitious promises
India has promised to build total renewable capacity of 175 GW by 2022 and create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonne of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
Considering the past track record with regard to capacity build up, land acquisition issues, technology challenges and the fact that several measures to achieve the target are still in the planning stage in the beginning of the year 2016, it appears that it would be a herculean task for India to reach the promised target by 2022.