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24 Jun, 2021

76 Min Read

Delimitation of Jammu & Kashmir

GS-II : Governance Delimitation

Delimitation of Jammu & Kashmir

What is the news?

  • The Delimitation Commission for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has kicked off the exercise by writing to all 20 District Commissioners (DC), seeking basic demographic, topographic information as well as the local administration’s impressions of political aspirations of the district.
  • The Commission was set up in February-March 2020 to delineate Assembly and parliamentary constituencies, and was given a year’s extension last March.
  • It is only after the completion of the delimitation exercise that elections for the Assembly can be held, although District Development Council (DDC) polls were held last year on earlier patterns and based on the 2011 Census.
  • The then State of Jammu and Kashmir was kept out of the delimitation exercise when it was carried out in the rest of country (between 2002-2008), as delimitation of Assembly seats was under the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution and its separate Representation of People Act.
  • After becoming a Union Territory, the Delimitation Commission was constituted and asked to mark out Assembly and Parliament seats.
  • The Commission, headed by Justice (retired) Ranjana Prakash Desai and comprising two other members, had called for a meeting in February 2021, where only two of its five associate members — Union Minister Jitendra Singh and Jugal Kishore Singh, MP — attended. National Conference leaders Dr. Farooq Abdullah and Hasnain Masoodi, MP, and Mohammad Akbar Lone did not attend.
  • The renewed push by the Centre for talks has raised hopes not only of early Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir but also of an eventual restoration of statehood, which was taken away under the Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019, a reading down of Article 370 of the Constitution.

Why Delimitation is important?

  • To provide equal representation to equal segments of a population.
  • Fair division of geographical areas so that one political party doesn’t have an advantage over others in an election.
  • To follow the principle of “One Vote One Value”.

Constitutional Provisions regarding Delimitation:

  • Under Article 82, the Parliament enacts a Delimitation Act after every Census.
  • Under Article 170, States also get divided into territorial constituencies as per Delimitation Act after every Census.
  • Once the Act is in force, the Union government sets up a Delimitation Commission.
  • The first delimitation exercise was carried out by the President (with the help of the Election Commission) in 1950-51.
  • The Delimitation Commission Act was enacted in 1952.
  • Delimitation Commissions have been set up four times — 1952, 1963, 1973 and 2002 under the Acts of 1952, 1962, 1972 and 2002.
  • There was no delimitation after the 1981 and 1991 Censuses.

Delimitation Commission

  • The Delimitation Commission is appointed by the President of India and works in collaboration with the Election Commission of India.
  • Composition: Retired Supreme Court judge, Chief Election Commissioner and Respective State Election Commissioners.
  • Functions:
    1. To determine the number and boundaries of constituencies to make population of all constituencies nearly equal.
    2. To identify seats reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, wherever their population is relatively large.
    3. In case of difference of opinion among members of the Commission, the opinion of the majority prevails.
  • The Delimitation Commission in India is a high power body whose orders have the force of law and cannot be called in question before any court.

Problems with Delimitation

  • States that take little interest in population control could end up with a greater number of seats in Parliament. The southern states that promoted family planning faced the possibility of having their seats reduced.
  • In 2008, Delimitation was done based on the 2001 census, but the total number of seats in the Assemblies and Parliament decided as per the 1971 Census was not changed.
  • The constitution has also capped the number of Lok Shaba & Rajya Sabha seats to a maximum of 550 & 250 respectively and increasing populations are being represented by a single representative.

Source: TH

Money Laundering

GS-III : Internal security Money laundering

Money Laundering

What is Money Laundering?

  • Money Laundering refers to converting illegal earned money into legitimate money.
  • The government does not get any tax on the money because there is no accounting of the black money.
  • So Money Laundering is a way to hide the illegally acquired money.
  • The term "money laundering" originated from the Mafia group in the United States of America. Mafia groups have made huge amounts of extortion, gambling, etc. and this money is shown as legal money.
  • In India, "money laundering" is popularly known as Hawala transactions.
  • According to the IMF, global Money Laundering is estimated between 2 to 5% of World GDP.

Components of Money Laundering:

It involves three steps: placement, layering and integration.

  • Placement puts the "dirty money" into the legitimate financial system.
  • Layering conceals the source of the money through a series of transactions and bookkeeping tricks.
  • In the case of integration, the now-laundered money is withdrawn from the legitimate account to be used for criminal activities.
  • Some examples of Money laundering are Smurfing, Shell companies, Round tripping, Gambling, etc.

Impacts of money Laundering:

  • Economic Impact:
  1. Undermines integrity of financial markets.
  2. Loss of control of economic policy
  3. Economic distortion and instability
  4. Loss of revenue
  • Social Impacts:
  1. Increased criminality
  2. Decreases human development
  3. Misallocation of resources
  4. Affects trust of local citizens in their domestic financial institutions.
  • Political Impacts:
  1. Initiates political distrust and instability
  2. Criminalisation of politics

The Legal Framework in India to deal with Money laundering:

In India, the specific legislation dealing with money laundering is the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act((PMLA), 2002

  • It forms the core of the legal framework put in place by India to combat Money Laundering.
  • The provisions of this act are applicable to all financial institutions, banks(Including RBI), mutual funds, insurance companies, and their financial intermediaries.
  • The law was enacted to combat money laundering in India and has three main objectives :
  1. To prevent and control money laundering.
  2. To provide for confiscation and seizure of property obtained from laundered money.
  3. To deal with any other issue connected with money-laundering in India.
  • Under the PMLA Act, the Enforcement Directorate is empowered to conduct a Money Laundering investigation.
  • Apart from the provisions of PMLA, there are other specialised provisions such as RBI/SEBI/IRDA anti-money laundering regulations.

PMLA (Amendment) Act, 2012

  • Adds the concept of ‘reporting entity’ which would include a banking company, financial institution, intermediary etc.
  • PMLA, 2002 levied a fine up to Rs 5 lakh, but the amendment act has removed this upper limit of Rs. 5 lakh.
  • It has provided for provisional attachment and confiscation of property of any person involved in such activities.

Other methods to control Money Laundering:

  • Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985: It provides for the penalty of property derived from, or used in illegal traffic in narcotic drugs.
  • Financial Intelligence Unit-IND: It is an independent body reporting directly to the Economic Intelligence Council (EIC) headed by the Finance Minister.
  • Enforcement Directorate (ED):
  1. It is a law enforcement agency and economic intelligence agency responsible for enforcing economic laws and fighting economic crime in India.
  2. One of the main functions of ED is to Investigate offences of money laundering under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002(PMLA).
  3. It can take actions like confiscation of property if the same is determined to be proceeds of crime derived from a Scheduled Offence under PMLA, and to prosecute the persons involved in the offence of money laundering.
  • India is a full-fledged member of the FATF and follows the guidelines of the same.

Source: TH

Central Railside Warehouse Company merged with Central Warehouse Corporation

GS-III : Economic Issues Merger and acquisition

Central Railside Warehouse Company merged with Central Warehouse Corporation

  • Taking another step towards implementing the direction of “Minimum Government Maximum Governance” given by the Prime Minister, promoting ease of doing business and bringing private sector efficiencies in Public Sector Undertakings, the Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved to merge and transfer all assets, liabilities, rights and obligations of ‘Central Railside Warehouse Company Limited’ (CRWC), a Mini-Ratna Category-II Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956 in 2007 with its holding enterprise ‘Central Warehousing Corporation’ (CWC).
  • The merger will unify similar functions of both the companies (i.e., warehousing, handling, transportation) through a single administration to promote efficiency, optimum capacity utilization, transparency, accountability, ensure financial savings and leverage railway siding for new warehousing capacities.
  • The capacity utilization of RWCs will also improve as there will be potential for CWCs to store commodities other than commodities of cement, fertilizer, sugar, salt and soda being stored presently.
  • The merger will facilitate the setting up of at least 50 more Railside warehouses near the goods-shed locations.
  • This is likely to generate employment opportunities equivalent to 36,500 mandays for skilled workers and 9,12,500 mandays for unskilled workers. The merger is expected to be completed within 8 months of the date of decision.

About Central Warehouse Corporation and CRWC

  • CWC is a Mini-Ratna Category-I CPSE set up in 1957 to provide for incorporation and regulation of Warehousing Corporations for the purpose of warehousing of agriculture produce and certain other commodities notified by the Central Government and for matters connected therewith.
  • CWC is a profit-making Public Sector Enterprise (PSE) with an authorized capital of Rs.100 crore and paid-up capital of Rs. 68.02 crore.
  • CWC formed a separate subsidiary company named ‘Central Railside Warehouse Company Ltd.’ (CRWC) on 10th July 2007 to plan, develop, promote, acquire and operate Railside Warehousing Complexes / Terminals / Multimodal Logistics Hubs on land leased from Railways or acquired otherwise.
  • CRWC is a lean organization with 50 employees and staff of 48 outsourced personnel.
  • Presently, it is operating 20 Railside Warehouses across the country.
  • As CWC is the sole shareholder of CRWC and all the assets and liabilities and rights and obligations will be transferred to CWC, there will be no financial loss to either instead it will bring synergy.
  • A separate Division with the name ‘RWC Division’ will be created by CWC for handling operations and marketing of RWCs.

Source: PIB

Bhutan’s Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) launched in partnership with India

GS-II : International Relations Bhutan

Bhutan’s Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) launched in partnership with India

About Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) Programme

  • The Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) Programme which is jointly launched by UNDP and OECD is intended to support developing countries to strengthen national tax administrations through building audit capacity and sharing this knowledge with other countries.
  • The TIWB Programme aims to strengthen tax administrations of developing countries by transferring technical know-how and skills to their tax auditors and through the sharing of general audit practices and dissemination of knowledge products with them.
  • The TIWB Programme complements the efforts of the international community to strengthen cooperation on tax matters and contribute to domestic tax mobilisation efforts of developing countries.
  • India has been supportive in capacity building in tax matters in developing countries. India being a global leader in this respect has a very important role to play in South-South Cooperation in tax matters.

What is the news?

  • Bhutan’s Tax Inspectors Without Borders (TIWB) programme was launched in partnership with India
  • India was chosen as the Partner Jurisdiction and has provided the Tax Expert for this programme.
  • This programme is expected to be of about 24 months duration through which India in collaboration with the UNDP and the TIWB Secretariat aims to aid Bhutan in strengthening its tax administration by transferring technical know-how and skills to its tax auditors, and by sharing of best audit practices.
  • The focus of the programme will be on the area of International Taxation and Transfer Pricing.
  • This programme is another milestone in the continued cooperation between India and Bhutan and India’s continued and active support for South-South cooperation.

Source: PIB

Ranil Wickremesinghe returns to Sri Lankan Parliament

GS-II : International Relations Sri Lanka

Ranil Wickremesinghe returns to Sri Lankan Parliament: Sri Lanka Civil War

What is the news?

  • Former Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe returned to Parliament, 10 months after his United National Party (UNP) suffered its biggest electoral defeat in history.
  • In the first intervention by his party in the current legislature, Mr Wickremesinghe slammed the Rajapaksa government on its economic policy that, he said, lacked a plan amid a crisis, and growing militarisation of civil services.
  • Though the UNP didn’t win a single seat in the 2020 general election, it had enough cumulative votes to nominate one member under its ‘national list’, a system in which a party can win seats proportionate to its share of total votes polled.
  • “I am happy to be able to come to Parliament and resume my parliamentary political life,” said Mr Wickremesinghe, who was first elected as an MP in 1977. He was in all Parliaments since, except after he lost the election last year when the Rajapaksas rose to power with a thumping majority.
  • The Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB, or United People’s Front), formed by those who broke away from the UNP, is Sri Lanka’s main Opposition party, led by Sajith Premadasa.
  • Pointing to Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves, Mr. Wickremesinghe said the balance had fallen from $7 billion, when his government was in power (2015-2019), to $4 billion at present.
  • “By the end of this month, Sri Lanka has a debt of $1 billion to repay. We have to repay another loan of around $2 billion this year. We have no plan on how to pay for these,” he said, urging the government to sign up for an International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal.
  • Mr. Wickremesinghe accused the government of giving tax relief to “big people” while “starving small people”.


  • The majority of Sri Lankans are ethnic Sinhalese, a group of Indo-European peoples that had migrated to the island from northern India in the BC 500s (during the Mauryan Empire).
  • The Sinhalese had contacts with the Tamils who were settled in the southern part of the Indian subcontinent.
  • A major migration of the Tamils occurred between the 7th and the 11thcenturies CE, especially during Cholas (Rajaraja Chola and Rajendra Chola).

Britishers are the historical reason for Sri Lanka Civil War.

  • When the British started ruling the country in 1815, the approximate population of the Sinhalese was roughly 3 million and the Tamils numbered up to 300,000.
  • Apart from the ethnicities, the two groups also differed in their religious affiliations.
  • The Sinhalese were predominantly Buddhist and the Tamils were mostly Hindu.
  • The British ruled over Sri Lanka from 1815 to 1948.
  • During this time, they brought nearly a million Tamils to work in the coffee, tea and rubber plantations in the island nation.
  • The British also set up good educational and other infrastructure in the northern part of the country, which was where the Tamils were in a majority.
  • They also favoured the Tamils in the civil service.
  • All this naturally fostered ill-feeling among the Sinhalese.

What happened after Independence?

  • Sri Lanka attained independence from the British on 4 February 1948.
  • After attaining independence, the new government initiated many laws that discriminated against the Tamils.
  • Sinhalese was declared the sole official language which effectively eliminated the Tamils from government service.
  • A law was also passed that simply barred Indian Tamils from getting citizenship.
  • The Tamils started demanding equal rights in their homeland. Their demands were just and their methods peaceful.
  • However, ethnic tension was rising in the country and the successive Sinhalese governments did nothing to provide equal rights and opportunities to the Tamil people. They were even targets of sectarian violence.
  • In 1972, the Sinhalese changed the country’s name from Ceylon to Sri Lanka and made Buddhism the nation’s primary religion.

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

  • The LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) was formed in 1976 by Prabhakaran with the intention of acquiring a homeland for the Tamils in Sri Lanka in the north and east parts of the island.
  • As ethnic tension grew, in 1976, the LTTE was formed under the leadership of Velupillai Prabhakaran, and it began to campaign for a Tamil homeland in northern and eastern Sri Lanka, where most of the island’s Tamils reside.
  • In 1983, the LTTE ambushed an army convoy, killing thirteen soldiers and triggering riots in which 2,500 Tamils died.
  • The group first struck in July 1983 when they attacked an army patrol at Tirunelveli in Jaffna.
  • 13 army men were killed which prompted violence on civilian Tamils by the majority community.
  • The initial days of the LTTE were focused on fighting other Tamil factions and consolidating power as the sole representative of the Sri Lankan Tamils.
  • This was achieved by 1986, the same year it captured Jaffna.
  • There were many skirmishes between the government and the insurgents in which civilians were also affected. Many Tamils left their homes for the eastern part of the country.

What happened after Independence?

  • As Ethnic ties have bound southern India and Sri Lanka for more than two millennia. India is a home to more than 60 million of the world’s 77 million Tamils, while about 4 million live in Sri Lanka.
  • The Palk Strait, about 40 km (25 miles) wide at its narrowest point, separates the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu and northern Sri Lanka, traditionally the main Tamil area of the Indian Ocean island.
  • When war between Sri Lankan Tamils and the Sinhalese majority erupted in 1983, India took an active role.
  • Indo-Sri Lankan Accord was signed in 1987 to provide a political solution to Sri Lanka’s conflict.
  • It proposed the establishment of provincial council system and devolution of power for nine provinces in Sri Lanka (also known as The Thirteenth Amendment).

Indian Intervention in the Sri Lankan Civil War

  • Indian Peacekeeping Force (IPKF) was sent to the island in the hope of bringing about peace.
  • India deployed Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka under Operation Pawan to disarm the different militant groups.
  • IPKF was later withdrawn after three years amidst escalating violence.
  • In 1987, Rajiv Gandhi decided to intervene in the situation mainly because of separatism issues in Tamil Nadu and also to avoid the potential swarm of refugees from Sri Lanka to Indian shores, setting a new stage for India-Sri Lanka relations.
  • This move proved to be a terrible disaster. Instead of negotiating a settlement between both parties, the Indian troops ended up fighting the Eelam group. About 1200 Indian men died in the war.
  • Rajiv Gandhi was also a victim of the LTTE when in 1991, he was assassinated by a human bomb at an election rally in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu.
  • After the IPKF had withdrawn in 1990, the fighting continued more intensely. Sri Lankan President Premadasa was also killed by the LTTE in 1993 in a human bomb.
  • The LTTE, at its height, was a full-fledged militia with even an air force of its own. It employed women and even children in their activities.
  • The war went on with numerous counts of atrocities and brutalities perpetrated by both sides. The civilians also suffered terribly. Lakhs of people were displaced in the protracted war.
  • A ceasefire was declared a few times by the LTTE, only to resume fighting later. Peace talks were also held with the intervention of international actors, particularly Norway. Nothing came to any avail.

Results of the Sri Lankan Civil War

  • Finally, the Rajapaksa government decided to come hard on the LTTE in an extreme offensive starting in 2007.
  • There was intense fighting between the government forces and the LTTE in which thousands of civilians were caught in the line of fire.
  • The government was also accused of targeting civilians and destroying entire villages.
  • The violent conflict ended in 2009 and at that point India agreed to reconstruct the war-torn areas and started many rehabilitation programs.
  • India voted against Sri Lanka in 2009, 2012 and 2013 at the US-sponsored UNHRC resolution to investigate alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka.
  • International and United Nations observers describe the events that led to the defeat of the LTTE in 2009 as a ‘bloodbath’.
  • On 19th May, the president of the country declared to the parliament that the LTTE leader Prabhakaran was killed and that the war had been won by the government forces.
  • Many heaved a sigh of relief as the bloody war had proved far too costly. However, there have been speculations that the army had killed many Tamil leaders after they had surrendered.
  • It is suggested that in the final days of the war, about 40,000 people had lost their lives. The Sri Lankan government faced the huge task of providing relief and aid to the displaced and injured. The total cost of the 26-year war is estimated to be USD 200 billion.

Source: TH

Climate crisis to hit sooner

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Climate Change

Climate crisis to hit sooner

What is the news?

  • Climate change will fundamentally reshape life on Earth in the coming decades, even if humans can tame planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, according to a landmark draft report from the UN’s climate science advisers obtained by AFP
  • Earlier models predicted that we were not likely to see Earth-altering climate change before 2100. But the UN draft report says that prolonged warming even beyond the threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius could produce “progressively serious, centuries’ long and, in some cases, irreversible consequences”.
  • Dangerous thresholds are closer than once thought, and dire consequences stemming from decades of carbon pollution are unavoidable in the short term.

About Climate Change

Context: Climate Change is one of the most important topics for UPSC Prelims 2021 and it is also important for Mains Answer Writing for IAS Mains 2021. Hence, AspireIAS has come up with a comprehensive document for Climate Change.

What is Climate?

  • Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere "behaves" over relatively long periods of time (like 100 years).
  • Climate change is a complex problem, although Environmental in nature, has consequences for all spheres. It impacts poverty, economic development, population growth, sustainable development and resource management. Hence the solutions should come from all disciplines.

Club of Rome

  • After World War 2, there emerged a group in 1968 called the Club of Rome. They came up with a model known as Limit’s to Growth model.
  • The team tracked industrialisation, population, food, use of resources, and pollution.
  • They modelled data up to 1970, then developed a range of scenarios out to 2100, depending on whether humanity took serious action on environmental and resource issues. If that didn’t happen, the model predicted “overshoot and collapse” – in the economy, environment and population – before 2070.
  • This was called the “business-as-usual” scenario.
  • The book’s central point, much criticised since, is that “the earth is finite” and the quest for unlimited growth in population, material goods etc would eventually lead to a crash.
  • Thus, it talked about Sustainable development.

The Silent Spring

  • Silent Spring is an environmental science book by Rachel Carson.
  • The book was published on September 27, 1962, documenting the adverse environmental effects caused by the indiscriminate use of pesticides.
  • Carson accused the chemical industry of spreading disinformation, and public officials of accepting the industry's marketing claims unquestioningly.

Stockholm Conference/ UNCHE (Conference on Human Environment)/ Man Environment summit, 1972

  • Stockholm Conference was an international conference convened under United Nations auspices held in Stockholm, Sweden from June 5-16, 1972. It was the UN's first major conference on international environmental issues, and marked a turning point in the development of international environmental politics.
  • It brought the industrialized and developed countries together.
  • It not discuss about Climate Change but only about pollution & Environmental degradation.
  • To delineate the rights of the human family to a healthy and productive environment.
  • It discussed on the rights of people to adequate food, to sound housing, to safe water, to access to means of family planning.

World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED)

  • WCED was created in 1983 as an independent body by UNGA. WCED was asked to formulate 'A global agenda for change'.
  • Brundtland Report Formally called as: Our Common Future: Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development was made in 1987.
  • It gave concept of “sustainable development”
  • The Brundtland Commission’s characterization of ‘sustainable development’ is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
  • The prominence given to ‘needs’ reflects a concern to eradicate poverty and meet basic human needs, broadly understood.
  • The concept of sustainable development focused attention on finding strategies to promote economic and social development in ways that avoided environmental degradation, over-exploitation or pollution, and side lined less productive debates about whether to prioritize development or the environment.

IPCC (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)

  • IPCC was established by World Meteorological Organization and UNEP in 1988. It is a Statistical organization or Intergovernmental body.
  • IPCC is the scientific body under UN for assessing the science related to climate change.
  • The membership is open to all members of UN and WMO. Currently 195 countries are the members.
  • It accepted Climate change in 1988. It does not conduct its own original research nor does it monitor climate related data.
  • Thousands of scientists work on voluntary basis. It also got Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
  • The aim of IPCC is
  1. To provide political leaders with periodic scientific assessments concerning climate change, its implications and risks, as well as to put forward adaptation and mitigation strategies.
  2. To assess scientific information regarding human induced Climate change and its impact and options for adaptation and mitigation.
  3. It produces reports not just for Greenhouse Gases but on topics like aviation, regional impacts of Climate change, technology transfer, land use, CO2 capture and storage and on the relation between safeguarding ozone layer.
  • The IPCC has three working groups:
  1. Working Group I, dealing with the physical science basis of climate change.
  2. Working Group II, dealing with impacts, adaptation and vulnerability.
  3. Working Group III, dealing with the mitigation of climate change.

Rio Summit/ Earth Summit/ UNCED (UN Conference on Environment and Development), 1992

  • Aim: To stabilize the GHG concentrations at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with Climate system.
  • The following legally binding agreements (Rio Convention) were opened for signature:
  1. Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD)
  2. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  3. Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
  • UNFCCC: (entered in Force in 1994): It has near universal membership. 195 countries ratified. Focus
  1. Adaptation: adjustment in ecological, social or economic systems in response to actual or expected climatic changes. Ex Agriculture pattern.
  2. It has 5 components: Observation; Assessment of climate impacts and vulnerability; Planning; Implementation and Monitoring and evaluation of adaptation actions.
  3. Climate Finance (through Green Climate Fund): Annex II parties (Developed countries) are to provide finances to assist Developing countries.
  4. Mitigation: Reducing GHG and enhancing sinks & reservoirs. Ex Renewable Energy.
  • GEF (Global Environment Facility)
  1. GEF was established in 1992 Rio Summit. It is a partnership of 183 countries, International institutions, Civil society organizations & Private sector.
  2. It Grants funds for Environment projects. Since it's inception it has provided $17.9 bn in grants.
  3. It is a financial mechanism for 6 Environmental conventions: UNFCCC, UNCCD, UNCBD, Montreal Protocol on Ozone, Minamata Convention on Mercury, Stockholm for POP
  4. World Bank is the trustee of GEF & administers it.
  5. Council is the GEF's main governing body of 32 members (14:16:2:: Developed:Developing:Economic in Transition).
  • Agenda 21
  1. It is a non binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of UN for sustainable development.
  2. UNCCD has come from direct recommendation of Agenda 21.
  3. In 1993, UNCED established the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) to follow up on the implementation of Agenda 21.

1997 Kyoto Protocol and UNFCCC

  • Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 and entered into force in 2005. 191 countries adopted it.
  • Through Marrakesh Accords the 2008 - 2012 1st Commitment period. Detailed rules for implementation were adopted.
  • Doha Amendment = 2013 - 2020, revised GHG list and New commitments for Annex I.
  • It is the first Internationally binding treaty to control emission for Climate change. It legally binds developed countries to emission reduction targets. USA never ratified Kyoto protocol.
  • Kyoto Protocol has 6 GHGs = CO2, Methane, Nitrous Oxide (N20), Perfluorocarbons (PFCs), Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6).
  • 3 Parties
  1. Annex I = industrialized countries that are members of OECD + Economies in Transition (EIT) including Russia, Baltic States and Central and Eastern European states.
  2. Annex II = OECD members but not EIT parties. They must provide financial resources for Developing countries. Provide finance to GCF.
  3. Non Annex I = Mostly developing. UN recognised LDCs. Especially vulnerable to CC, Desertification, drought.
  • Kyoto Mechanism
  1. It includes Joint Implementation (JI), Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Emissions Trading, Climate Change.
  2. Emissions trading: Countries buy 'Kyoto units' from other to help meet domestic Emission reduction targets.
  3. CDM: meet their domestic Emission reduction targets by buying GHG reduction units from non Annex I countries. Invest in Renewable Energy projects.
  4. Joint Implementation: Any Annex I country can invest in emission reduction projects (JI projects) in any other Annex I country as an alternative to reduce emissions domestically.

Important UNFCCC Summits

1) Bali Summit (COP 13, 2007)

  • It has Bali roadmap which gave long term plan for the 1st time.
  • Reaching an agreed outcome and adopting a decision at COP15 in Copenhagen.
  • The review of the financial mechanism, going beyond the existing Global Environmental Facility.

2) Poznan (Poland) Climate Change Conference (COP 14, 2008)

  • It launched the Adaptation Fund under the Kyoto Protocol.
  • The Fund is financed in part by government and private donors, and also from a 2% share of proceeds of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) issued under Clean Development Mechanism projects.

3) Copenhagen (Denmark) Climate Change Conference (COP 15, 2009)

  • The Copenhagen Accord included the goal of limiting the maximum global average temperature increase to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, subject to a review in 2015.
  • Developed countries promised to provide US$30 billion for the period 2010-2012, and to mobilize long-term finance of a further US$100 billion a year by 2020 from a variety of sources.

4) Cancun (COP 16, 2010)

  • UK was the head.
  • Green Climate Fund was formed in Cancun summit
  1. It was formed in Cancun summit (100 bn $/ year by 2020 will be given by developed to developing). HQ = Incheon, South Korea. World Bank is the trustee.
  2. GCF will have thematic funding windows. It gives support to Developing countries to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to Climate change.
  3. GCF is accountable to and functions under COP.
  • Technology mechanisms (CTCN, TEC, TICH)
  1. CTCN (Climate Technology Center Network) = Technology development and transfer actions that support mitigation and adaptation.
  2. TEC (Technology Executive Committee) = implement technology transfer framework with support in developing countries through TNA (Technology Need Assessment process under Poznan strategic program on technology transfer).
  3. TICH (Tech Information Clearing House) = provide information.

5) Durban (COP 17, 2011) = Turning point. Timetable. Beyond 2020.

  • The outcomes included a decision by Parties to adopt a universal legal agreement on climate change as soon as possible, and no later than 2015.
  • Second phase of Kyoto Protocol was secured.
  • Approved the Governing Instrument for the GCF.
  • Formulate a Draft paper of Kyoto Protocol II (KP II) by 2015.
  • Discuss the draft paper, clause by clause between 2015-20.
  • 100% implementation of Kyoto Protocol II by 2020. Till then extend Kyoto Protocol I till 2017.
  • Target 2°C by end of 21st C. (Not 1.5 degree - It was in Paris)
  • Think about small Island countries and Sea level rise.

6) Doha (COP 18, 2012)

  • The conference reached an agreement to extend the life of the Kyoto Protocol, which had been due to expire at the end of 2012, until 2020 (second commitment period 2013 – 2020).
  • The extension of the Kyoto Protocol until 2020 limited in scope to only 15% of the global CO2 emissions. This was due to the lack of participation of Canada, Japan, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, New Zealand and the United States. (they all refused to join the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol)
  • Also, developing countries like China, India and Brazil are not subject to any emissions reductions under the Kyoto Protocol.
  • It endorsed South Korea as the host of GCF.

7) Warsaw (COP 19, 2013)

  • The conference led to an agreement that all states would start cutting emissions as soon as possible, but preferably by the first quarter of 2015.
  • The term Intended Nationally Determined Contributions was coined in Warsaw.
  • UN REDD was converted into UNFCCC's “REDD +” = Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation Plus.
  1. REDD was a programme initiated by UN in 2005. To mitigate climate change through enhanced Forest management in developing countries. It creates a financial value for carbon stored in forests by offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions. Now, UN-REDD Programme assists countries develop capacities needed to achieve UNFCCC's REDD+ initiative.
  • REDD + is a UNFCCC mechanism to incentivize developing countries to better manage, protect and save forests to help in climate change. The talks for REDD+ started in Montreal summit but established in Warsaw summit. 45% of CO2 can be absorbed from Forests. REDD + could capture 1 billion tonnes of additional CO2 over next 3 decades. It goes beyond merely checking deforestation and forest degradation, and includes
  • REDD+ is Result based = Developing country will have to prove the result 1st, only then they'll get the money through Green Climate Fund.
  • Forest Carbon Partnership Facility: World Bank is the trustee. It is the partnership of govts, businesses, civil society & indigenous people. For REDD+ incentives. Inter American Development Bank, UNDP are delivery partners under the Readiness Fund and responsible for providing REDD+ services.
  • BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL) is a multilateral fund supported by donor govt & managed by World Bank. It seeks to promote reduced GHG emissions from land sector.
  • World Bank's Forest Investment Programme is also a part of REDD +.
  • Lost and Damange: Lost (permanent loss includes economic/ non economic losses) and Damage (which is repairable like deforestation & temperature rise). Poor countries want money from rich for the CC.
  • Further the Warsaw Mechanism was proposed, which would provide expertise, and possibly aid, to developing nations to cope with loss and damage from such natural extremities as heatwaves, droughts and floods and threats such as rising sea levels and desertification.

8) Lima Summit (COP 20, 2014)

9) Paris Summit (COP 21, 2015)

  • Reduce Global average temperature < 2°C and try for < 1.5° C (for the 1st time).
  • Move away from CBDR (Common but differentiated responsibilities and new INDC (which talks about post 2020 climate actions).
  • India's INDC (Intended Nationally Determined Contributions) are
  1. Reduce Carbon intensity of its GDP by 33 - 35% by 2030 from 2005 levels.
  2. Additional Carbon sink of 2.5 - 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest & tree cover by 2030.
  3. Increase share of Renewable Energy to 40% of Total Energy.
  4. Sustainable Lifestyles. Cleaner Economic Development. Technology Transfer and Capacity Building.
  • CDKN (Climate and Development Knowledge Network) created a guide for NDC implementation for LDCs.
  • Intenational Solar Alliance, 2015
  1. 1st treaty based Inter-governmental organization based in India.
  2. HQ at National Institute of Solar Energy, Gurugram.
  3. Objectives = 1000 GW of Solar capacity globally & 1000 bn $ investment by 2030.
  4. All 121 countries between Tropics to now all invited.
  • Bonn Challenge (Forest Landscape Restoration) =
  1. Restore 150 million ha of deforested and degraded land by 2020 and 350 mn ha by 2030.
  2. Launched by Germany & IUCN. Extended to 2030 by New York declaration.
  • Global Stocktake (GST): is a 5 yearly review of impact of countries' climate change actions. Under the Paris Agreement 1st GST will happen in 2023.
  • Long term goal to achieve net zero emissions.
  • 4 new things were included
  1. Global Forest Watch Climate = Potential to shift debate on monitoring forest based emissions.
  2. African Forest and Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR 100) to restore 100 mn ha of degraded and deforested land in Africa.
  3. Initiative 20x20 is a landscape restoration effort in Latin American & Caribbean countries (28 mn ha)
  4. World Resource Institute announced 25 new partners to Building Efficiency Accelerator as a part if UN SE4All initiative (GM Times).

Marrakech (COP 22, 2016):

Bonn (COP 23, 2017)

Katowice (COP 24, 2018) =

  • Technology: e-Vehicles & e Mobility; Sustainable cities & Urbanisation. Responsibility of individual cities.
  • More Renewable Energy through attitudinal change.
  • Afforestation, Implementation of GCF.
  • Talanoa Dialogue = Led by Fiji. 1st ever International conversation of its kind to assess progress towards goals of Paris. 1.5°C relevance.
  • 1st Virtual Climate Summit, 2018 is a part of Talanoa dialogue.
  • It was organized by Climate Action Network (CAN) and Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF). CVF was formed in Copenhagen Summit. Formed by Maldives Govt.
  • 1.5° C target by 2020 by improving INDCs.
  • Adopted Jummemj Declaration = call to action if vigilance against threats.
  • Vulnerable nations stepping up and showing real climate leadership.

2019 COP 25 - Madrid, Spain.

  • Complete rule book by 2020. Creation of Carbon markets. Individual targets still unresolved. Kyoto II failed.
  • EU is working on a legislation to bring about Net 0 Emissions. UK has also turned its Net 0 2020 Goal into a legal requirement.
  • The international community lost an important opportunity to show increased ambition on mitigation, adaptation and finance to tackle the climate change.

Next Climate Summit is in Glassgow, UK. Issues to be discussed are liability for damages caused by rising temperatures that developing countries were insisting on.

For the Article related to 5 Year anniversary of Paris summit: click here

Source: AspireIAS notes

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