India updates UN on its carbon footprint, forest cover, and climate targets

India’s annual carbon emissions increased in 2014 (compared to 2010), but it will meet its Copenhagen and Paris accord targets of emission reductions per unit of GDP by 2020 and 2030, respectively. That’s the message India submitted to the UN in its second Biennial Update Report (BUR-II). The report says India reduced its emission intensity by 21% between 2005-2014. India’s total GHG emissions increased 5%, from 2.136 billion tonnes of CO2 in 2010 to 2.607 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent of GHG in 2014.

The energy sector was the largest contributor to the total GHG emissions (71% in 2010 and 73% in 2014). The BUR-II shows that the country’s share of non-fossil fuel electricity generation had already reached 35.5% in June, 2018. Livestock rearing and rice crops were the main source of Methane (CH4) and Nitrous Oxide (N2O) emissions, according to the report.

However, the UN questioned India’s forest cover data over lack of transparency & clarity. India had supplied the data to tap funds from global carbon trade under Paris Agreement after 2020. The UN review said: “The data and information used by India in constructing its FRL are partially transparent and not complete and therefore not fully in accordance with the guidelines contained (in the UN decisions).”

Kigali Amendment enters into force, world to slash HFC use over 30 years

To fight global warming, 197 countries have agreed upon an amendment to the Montreal Protocol for phasing down the planet heating hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gases (potentially 1000 times more warming than carbon dioxide). Under the agreement, developed countries will reduce HFC emissions use first, followed by China and India among other countries.

Note to US, Australia & Brazil: “Paris accord quitters would be worse off”  

Recent analysis by the Brookings Institute has found that countries that abandon the Paris climate accord would ultimately be worse off economically despite some GDP gains. Based on simulations of participating vs. abandoning pledges for China, the U.S., and Australia, the researchers concluded that quitting Paris deal would result in economic gains for these nations, but also found they would lose immensely if they ignored the co-benefits of emissions reduction.

Germany and Brazil delaying efforts to create global carbon trading system?

Distrust between two combating groups led by Germany and Brazil respectively have delayed the setting up of norms for a global carbon market: a system to trade CO2 emissions, one of the pillars of the Paris Agreement. The rich countries led by Germany have rejected Brazil’s proposal of market rules saying the developing countries may “create too many loopholes”. The key climate summit last December, postponed for a year, inclusion of carbon trading norms in the Rulebook.

The new system will allow developing countries to sell emissions credits they would earn from programs that cut greenhouse gases, while allowing developed nations to buy those securities. There are several contentious issue such as who would be able to sell carbon credits in the new system, whether it could lead to double counting, and if the new system cold end up like the previous Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) enacted by the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

Danish newspaper takes anti-flying pledge to cut emissions

Politiken, one of Denmark’s leading newspapers, has pledged to reduce its carbon footprint by giving up domestic air travel and reducing international flights for work to a minimum. Instead, it will rely on public transit to cover stories closer home. Politiken editor Jensen also revealed that climate change was the top issue on voters’ minds before Denmark’s upcoming general election later this year.

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