Climate change meet set to write rule book for Paris accord

Climate change meet set to write rule book for Paris accord

The 2017 UN climate change conference opens in Bonn on Monday, with the aim of drafting a global rule book, based on which nations will  undertake steps required, in accordance with the Paris agreement, to tackle global warming.

Presided over by Fiji, the first small island state to chair the summit, the November 6 to 17 conference is being held two years after the realisation of the Paris climate change agreement against a backdrop of a series of extreme weather events that devastated the lives of millions of people in Asia, the Americas and the Caribbean.

Although the Paris agreement set a goal to limit the global average temperature rise to two degrees Celsius, scientists have warned it is 95% likely that average global temperatures will pass this threshold by the end of the century.

The challenge facing governments is to accelerate their actions before the narrow window of opportunity closes.

But with the Donald Trump administration announcing the US' pull out from the Paris treaty, there is uncertainty on its future.  To make matter worse, notwithstanding their withdrawal, the US would be present in all crucial meetings for the next three years to influence the policy.

The block of developing nations would therefore look up to India to find out how best the situation can be salvaged. Coordination between the BASIC (Brazil-South Africa-India-China) group would play a key role in readying the draft rule book.

"People in the developing world, who are least responsible for causing the problem of climate change, are most likely to suffer. An entitlement to equal per capita emissions recognises the fundamental equality of all people and their rights to economic growth even within a carbon constrained world," Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan said here at a conference on Saturday.

While Vardhan is likely to travel to Bonn for the ministerial part of the negotiations, it is learnt that India's official position is yet to be finalised as the ministries of external affairs and environment and forests have a difference of opinion on certain issues.

One of the things that interests India is  "internationally transferred mitigation outcomes" - a new way to look at the carbon market, sources said.  ITMO is a part of the new market mechanism that would be discussed at Bonn as one of the routes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Other procedural issues (related to the Paris agreement) on the table are global stockpile, enhanced transparency framework and accounting. Based on the outcome of these talks, the countries would have to take a call on their next emission cut target in 2020.

"The Bonn summit is being held on the 25th year of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. There is no reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and if the emissions gap is not closed by 2030, the achievement of the two degrees Celsius goal is highly unlikely," said Chandra Bhusan, deputy director general, Centre for Science and Environment, a Delhi-based non-governmental organisation.

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