Doom and gloom: The world is still hurtling towards a temperature rise of more than 3°C this century if it doesn’t green up its act fast, according to the UN’s Emissions Gap Report 2020 | Photo: DW

Green recovery a must to cover climate action gap: UN report

Governments should pull out all stops to implement a green recovery as this was the best way to bring the world close to the 2°C pathway, according to the UN’s Emissions Gap Report 2020. The report urged countries to follow this path because despite a dip in CO2 emissions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is still hurtling towards a temperature rise of more than 3°C this century. 

A green pandemic recovery would cut around 25% off the greenhouse gas emissions projected in 2030, the report found. The levels of ambition agreed upon in the Paris Agreement will have to be tripled in order to stay on the 2°C pathway and increased five-fold if the 1.5°C target is to be achieved, the report stated.

RTI reveals: MoEF&CC asks PMO to rethink disengagment from WII 

Right to Information (RTI) data revealed the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has told the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to reconsider a proposal for the former to disengage with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII). The ministry also informed the PMO that it had agreed ‘in principle’ to disengage with the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM).

The comments were made in reference to a Department of Expenditure (DoE) report that recommended the MoEF&CC disengage from five autonomous institutions under it, including the WII and the IIFM.  

India announces committee to implement Paris Agreement targets

The Indian government set up a panel that will look into the implementation of the country’s Paris Agreement targets, including its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). This will be a high-level inter-ministerial committee, according to a Gazette notification issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

Climate goals in jeopardy as fossil fuel production set to rise: Study 

A new report found that major economies were planning and projecting an average annual increase of 2% in fossil fuel production. This despite the COVID-19 lockdown and research indicating the world needs to cut down production by 6% every year in the next decade in order to remain on the 1.5°C pathway, a special issue of the Production Gap Report stated. The report measured the gap between the Paris goals and countries’ planned production of fossil fuels. According to the report, global coal, oil and gas production would have to decline annually by 11%, 4% and 3% annually in order to achieve the Paris goals. But while the pandemic has resulted in short-term reduction this year, post-Covid stimulus measures will continue to widen the pre-Covid production gap, the study found. 

Biden names BlackRock alum his top economic adviser 

US President-elect Joe Biden named Brian Deese as his top economic adviser. Deese was a key negotiator of the Paris Agreement and helped the Obama administration bail out the automobile industry. Climate activists have expressed dismay with Deese, especially in his role as head of sustainable investment at BlackRock Inc, and don’t think he is ‘aggressive enough on climate change’.  

New Zealand declares climate emergency, pledges to become carbon neutral 

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared a climate emergency and pledged the country’s public sector would become carbon neutral by 2025. The move, however, was termed ‘symbolic’ by experts who urged the government to do more in order to cut down the country’s emissions. New Zealand joins a growing list of countries, including the UK, Japan, Canada and France, who have declared a climate emergency.

EU plan to cut shipping emissions finds no takers in international market

The EU’s plan to expand its carbon market to shipping was opposed by Japan, South Korea and international shipping groups. According to the countries, the proposal will increase trade tensions and also emissions because ships would prefer taking longer routes to avoid stops in Europe where they will have to pay for pollution permits to cover their emissions. Currently, only power plants, factories and airlines running European flights need to get these permits.

Australia abandons plan to use Kyoto credits to reach Paris emissions target 

Australia won’t go through with its plans to use Kyoto carryover credits in order to reach its emission reduction targets. The move to drop the controversial credits, to be announced by summit on December 12, is likely to be welcomed by other countries. It will put Australia in a strong position ahead of the Glasgow summit next year. It is also a major 180-degree change for Australia’s climate change agenda, as the government has previously claimed it is ‘entitled’ to use the ‘surplus’ units it had accumulated between 2008 and 2020 as part of its Kyoto protocol targets.

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