Context: The US formally exited the Paris Climate Agreement on Wednesday amid election uncertainty.

More on the news:

  • The US President had originally announced his intention to withdraw from the agreement in 2017 and formally notified the United Nations last year.
  • Ultimately, the US exited the pact after a mandatory year-long waiting period ended recently.
  • It is the only country to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. It can still attend negotiations and give opinions but is relegated to observer status.
    • The US is also the second leading producer of all carbon dioxide emissions globally, behind China.

Paris Climate Agreement

  • It is a historic international accord signed in 2015, that brings almost 200 countries together in setting a common target to reduce global greenhouse emissions in an effort to fight climate change.
  • The Paris Agreement comes under the broad umbrella of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
    • UNFCCC is a convention held in 1992 to combat climate change. 
    • Kyoto Protocol (1997) was another major international commitment under UNFCCC.
  • Provisions:
    • The pact seeks to keep global temperature rise to below 2 degrees celsius from pre-industrial levels, and to try and limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
    • For this, each country has pledged to implement targeted action plans that will limit their greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Under the agreement, rich and developed countries will provide financial and technological support to the developing world in their quest to fight and adapt to climate change.

India’s efforts to contribute its part towards the Paris Agreement:

  • India has achieved a reduction of 21% in the emission intensity of its GDP between 2005 and 2014, thereby achieving its pre-2020 voluntary target.
  • Further, India’s renewable energy installed capacity has increased by 226% in the last 5 years and stands more than 87 Gigawatt.
  • The Indian government has further announced the aspirational target of increasing renewable energy capacity to 450 GW. 
  • India has provided 80 million LPG connections in rural areas under the PAHAL scheme, ensuring clean cooking fuel and a healthy environment. 
  • More than 360 million LED bulbs have been distributed under the UJALA scheme, which has led to an energy saving of about 47 billion units of electricity per year and a reduction of 38 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
  • India’s total forest and tree cover is 24.56% of the total geographical area of the country. 
  • India has also leapfrogged from Bharat Stage-IV (BS-IV) to BS-VI emission norms by April 1, 2020, which was earlier to be adopted by 2024.
  • India had levied a coal cess of INR 400/-per tonne as part of one of the most explicit green initiatives & this is now subsumed under Goods and Services Tax(GST).
  • Under Smart Cities Mission, Climate-Smart Cities Assessment Framework 2019 has been launched which intends to provide a clear roadmap for cities and urban India towards combating climate change through the adoption of both mitigation and adaptation measures.

Source: TH