Pennies on the dollar: The first Standing Committee on Finance report under the UNFCCC has found that developing countries would require trillions of dollars for their NDCs, while the developed world is yet to deliver on its decade-old $100bn promise | Photo: John Englart/CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr

Developing countries need nearly $6 trillion for just 41% of their NDCs: UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance

Developing countries need $5.8 trillion–$5.9 trillion up to 2030, to finance less than half of the climate action listed in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to keep global warming in check, says the first-ever UN assessment of the needs of the developing countries. The SCF assessed NDCs from 153 countries (as of 31 May 2021) including 4,274 needs, and of this, only 41% (1,782) were identified with accompanying costing. The multitrillion-dollar figure is therefore likely to be much lower than the true overall financial needs for all NDC actions in the developing world.

Meanwhile, developed nations are still $10 billion short of fulfilling their $100 billion annual climate finance commitment. European nations, including Spain, Norway and Sweden, are scrambling to fill the gap ahead of the crucial climate talks in Glasgow this year. The US announced last month its intention of doubling its climate finance contribution to $11.4 billion. But the plan is still to be approved by the congress and will most likely come through only by 2024.

EU to back five-year climate targets at COP26

The European Union (EU) agreed to back five-year climate targets, which will be discussed at the COP26 to be held in the UK in November. This despite Poland pushing for 10-year goals. EU ministers, in a statement, said they were willing to back the plan only if all parties were required to do so, and in adherence with the European climate law. Other regions that are pushing for five-year plans include the US, small island states and African countries. The view is that shorter climate targets would help keep the pressure on countries to raise ambitions regularly and also help keep track of the speed at which emissions are being cut. India and China are among the big emitters that oppose a single timeframe.  

Turkey finally ratifies Paris Agreement, UAE commits to net zero by 2050

More than five years after signing the Paris Agreement, Turkey finally ratified the treaty this month. The announcement comes days after the country set a net zero by 2053 target. Only five countries are still to ratify the agreement—Libya, Yemen, Iran, Iraq and Eritrea. 

The UAE, meanwhile, became the first Gulf petro-state to commit to a fully decarbonised economy and achieve net zero by 2050. Leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced plans to invest $163 billion towards “clean and renewable energy” until 2050.  

This is a significant upgrade from the UAE’s previous plans to reduce emissions by 23.5% by 2030. 

Russia is working on a new decarbonisation strategy that aims to achieve net zero by 2060, according to the Kommersant newspaper. The new strategy, which is yet to be approved by the cabinet, will also aim to cut CO2 emissions by 75% by 2050. The plan envisions producing electricity from gas turbines, nuclear, hydroelectric and renewable power instead of coal power plants.

Is govt looking to amend forest conservation act to aid oil and gas exploration, private plantations?

Experts are worried a consultation paper on amending India’s forest conservation act released by the Centre could accelerate land trade in the country. They said the paper is likely to aid private plantations and extraction of oil and natural gas from forest land. State governments have been given 15 days to submit their comments on the paper. The paper highlighted that under identification of forest land under current provisions of the law were “subjective” and “arbitrary”. The Supreme Court, in a 1992 judgement, stated all land that fit the dictionary description of a forest would be deemed as forest land. 

According to the consultation paper, this restricts owners of private forest areas from using their land for non-forestry activity. The paper stated that this kind of ambiguity has resulted in private forest landowners keeping their land devoid of vegetation. The paper further pointed to the need for extensive plantations to achieve India’s NDC goals. The paper further raised the question whether using forest land for strategic and security projects of national importance should be exempt from seeking prior approval from the central government. According to experts, this will open up forest land to misuse as it gives states the power to divert forest land n for the strategic and security projects mentioned in the consultation paper.  

India’s ethanol ambitions trigger food security concerns

India’s plan to cut fossil fuel use by pushing for ethanol derived from rice, corn and sugar could undermine the country’s food security, according to experts. This year, India announced plans to double the country’s ethanol production and blend 20% gasoline with the spirit by 2025. To achieve this, the government is pushing for faster environment clearances and financial support to biofuel manufacturers. But this plan is also forcing food grains to be diverted away from public consumption, and towards companies at subsidised rates, experts said.  

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