Finance first: Nirmala Sitharaman, the finance minister, said that India will prioritise climate finance during its G20 presidency next year. Photo:

India to talk climate finance during next year’s G20 presidency

India laid out its plans for its G20 presidency next year. Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the country will focus on climate finance alone with multinational development banks and the debt situation. The minister, who was speaking at the recently concluded annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, emphasised the major role the UNFCCC has to play in moderating the debate on climate finance, but said multilateral bodies still had some role to play in it as well. 

Meanwhile, at the same event, Mohamad Nasheed, the former president of the Maldives announced that 20 countries most vulnerable to climate impacts, are considering stopping the repayment of their “unjust” $685 billion collective debt. A spokesperson of the World Bank acknowledged the disproportionate effect climate change was having on poorer nations, and emphasised banks’ commitment to bring comprehensive debt solutions that benefit these countries. 

Global aviation sector commits to “aspirational”net target by 2050

The global aviation sector agreed to support an “aspirational” net-zero goal by 2050. The goal was accepted by 193 countries at a meeting organised by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in Montreal. Environmentalists, however, found the plan to be weak because it was not legally binding.

ICAO’s member countries also agreed that airlines will use the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). According to this scheme, airlines must agree on a baseline year and all future emissions above the level of that year must be offset. 

FSC agrees to give green nod to wood loggers who restore forests they cut down

The Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) agreed to give certificates to logging companies for their wood products if they restore the forests they have cut down between 1994 and 2020 and compensate the affected communities. The international body currently does not give green certificates to companies that have cut down forests since 1994. The FSC will not allow any deforestation after 2020. The move has been welcomed by environmentalists who believe restoration is good for the climate. 

Countries strengthening NDCs but not at pace and scale required to combat climate crisis: Report

The World Resources Institute (WRI) published a report called the “State of NDCs”, which takes stock of the latest round of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). The report found that while countries were strengthening their climate action plans, urgent transformational change is the need of the hour to meet Paris Agreement targets. The report revealed that countries have to reduce their emissions at least six times as much as their current pledges to limit warming to 1.5°C. 

While adaptation plans have nearly doubled since the initial NDCs were announced with a stronger focus on equity, more work needs to be done to match the scale and speed of climate change, the report stated. Climate finance was still woefully inadequate to implement even a subset of the NDCs, especially those of developing countries, according to the report. 

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