2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP 21 was held in Paris, France from 30 November to 12 December 2015. It was the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties with a proposal of achieving zero GHG emissions growth by 2060-80.

  • The conference reached its objective for the first time to achieve a global agreement on reduction of climate change in the Paris Agreement, which was adopted with acclamation by nearly all states.
  • On the sidelines of summit 189 parties had submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) on climate actions.

Paris summit - COP 21How agreement on reduction of climate changes will become legally binding?
The agreement will become legally binding if at least 55 countries representing 55% of global greenhouse emissions become a party to it through signature followed by ratification, acceptance, and approval or through accession in New York from 22 April 2016 to 21 April 2017. It is expected to take effect in 2020.

Highlights of Summit

  • According to the organizing committee, the expected key result was to limit the global warming by 2100, compared to pre-industrial to below 2 degrees Celsius.
  • A 5°C goal will require a zero level in emissions sometimes between 2030 and 2050 according to some scientists.
  • No detailed timeplan or country-specific goals for emissions were stated in the final version of the Paris Agreement.
  • A zerolevel should be reached during the second half of the century.

India’s Participation
India launches global solar alliance of 120 countries – PM Narendra Modi has launched an international solar alliance of over 120 countries with French President Francois Holland.

  • Indian Govt is investing an initial $30mn in setting up the alliance headquarter in India. The eventual goal is to raise $400m from membership fees and international agencies.

Companies involved in project – Areva, Engie, Enel, HSBC France and Tata Steel

  • India pledges to Paris summit offered to draw 40% of its electricity from renewables by 2030 as India is projected to be the world’s most popoluous city by 2030.
  • India’s has a target to install 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022.

African Countries Participation
African countries aimed at restoring 100 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by the year 2030. The initiative dubbed as the African Restoration Initiative (AFR100) plans to nurture and re-grows the forests that would lead to carbon sink and improve the livelihood of rural people.

  • The coalition consists of 10 African countries, 9 financial partners and 10 technical support partners.
  • World Bank pledged $1 billion while Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is providing support for development of AFR100 initiative.

Overall Financing
The conference was budgeted to cost €170m (US$186.87m). As per French government, 20% of the cost will be borne by firms such as EDF, Engie, Air France, Renault-Nissan and BNP Paribas.

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