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Highlights of 25th UN Climate Change Conference held in Madrid, Spain

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The 25th United Nations(UN) Climate Change Conference held in Madrid, Spain from December 2-13, 2019. The conference featured 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) to the United Nations Framework Convention to Combat Climate Change (UNFCCC). The highlights of the conference are as follows:UN Climate Change ConferenceCOP25:

  • The conference also marked the 51st meeting of the UNFCCC subsidiary bodies – the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI 51) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA 51).
  • Previous conference: The 24th conference known as COP24 was held in Katowice Poland, in 2018. The conference focused on completing work on the Paris Agreement Work Programme.
  • Spain replaced Chile as host: Chile’s president Sebastian Piñera announced the country would not host the Cop25 climate talks. It was after the withdrawal, Spain was announced as the host of COP25 under Chile’s mandate.

India ranked 9th among countries in CCPI with higher climate performance:
For the 1st time India was ranked among the top ten countries in the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2020, released by Germanwatch and NewClimate Institute report together with the Climate Action Network (CAN). India ranked 9th in the index in 2019.  Previously in 2018, it ranked at the 11th place. The list was topped by Sweden ranking 4th on the list. The top three ranks were left empty. United States(US) ranked 61st(last) on the list as the worst climate change performer.

Indicators: A total of 57 countries were ranked and the rankings were based on 14 indicators within 4 categories. The 4 categories are GHG (GreenHouse Gas emissions) emissions”, “renewable energy” and “energy use”, as well as on “climate policy”.

Report on India: India’s current levels of per capita emissions and energy use is comparatively low and, resulting in high ratings for the GHG Emissions and energy use categories. The 2030 renewable energy target is rated very high for its well-below 2°C compatibility.


Rank Country 
61United States(Worst Performer)

India reduced emission intensity of its GDP by 21%:
Addressing the COP 25, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change(MoEFCC), Shri Prakash Javadekar announced that India has reduced emission intensity of its GDP (gross domestic product) by 21% and is also on track to achieve the goal of 35% emission reduction by 2030.

BASIC Ministerial Joint Statement at COP25
The Ministers BASIC countries i.e., Brazil, South Africa, India and China group (BASIC) met during COP25 in Madrid, Spain, on 10th December 2019. The Ministers pledged their full support to the Chilean COP (Conference of the Parties) Presidency. click here to know more. 

Infosys, 1st Indian corporate to be awarded UN award in ‘climate neutral now’ category
On december 11, 2019 IT (Information Technology) services major Infosys Ltd was presented with the United Nations Global Climate Action Award in the ‘Climate Neutral Now‘ category. The Bengaluru (Karnataka)- headquartered company Infosys, is the 1st Indian corporate to receive the award. The award was given for its outstanding achievements in combating climate change.

Award conferring: The award was conferred for its carbon neutral programme. The programme delivers innovative and practical climate actions to address climate change and help drive progress on many other sustainable development goals.

Top employer: The $11 billion valued Infosys has been projected as a top employer in Australia, Japan and Singapore across the Asia-Pacific region in 2020, by the Top Employer Institute in recognition of its excellence in hiring practices.

  • Assessment: the assessment was based on talent strategy, workforce planning, talent acquisition, on-boarding, learning and development and performance management.

IREDA to Create a Green Window for Green Energy Finance:
Addressing the COP 25 conference, Secretary for the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) Shri Anand Kumar announced that Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), has planned to set up a dedicated “Green Window” to serve the unserved segments of renewable energy sector.

Green Window:

  • Green Window: Green windows, like green banks, are public entities created to work with the private sector to increase investment in green energy and bring clean energy financing into the mainstream.
    • Low risk:A green window would lower the risk for traditional banks to finance green energy and tap into international capital to help India power its cities and rural communities.
    • Investment needed: However, India still needs India, high amount of capital to be i.e., Rs. 21,45,000 crores ($ 330 billion) between 2018 and 2030 – to accomplish its commitments under the Paris Agreement.
  • Purpose: IREDA Green Window will provide a boost to the renewable energy market. It will be set up to support underserved clean energy markets and support the scaling up of new clean energy technologies.
  • Allocation: An allocation of approximately $20 million has been considered for the Green window. Another $80 million will be obtained from other agencies to establish a facility of total worth 100 million.
  • Benefit: The green window would be of great support to India’s aim of moving towards becoming a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024-2025.
    • The country aims to install 175 GW renewable energy by 2022 creating up to 1 million job opportunities for over 300,000 workers in the country.
    • The country aims to install 450 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity by 2030.


  • IREDA is India’s leading financial institution that was set up for clean energy expansion. It was founded in 1987 under MNRE. It has financed the largest share of renewable energy projects in India.
  • It was formed under the Companies Act, 1956.

73 Countries joined Climate Ambition Alliance at COP25:
A total of 73 countries agreed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. These 73 countries represent 13% of total global emissions. Most of the 73 countries’ emission rate is negligible when compared with big emitters such as the USA, China and India.

  • Major Co2 emitters: China, US, European Union(EU) and India contributed to 59% of the total global Carbon dioxide(Co2) emissions. Out of these countries, China emitted 28% of Co2 emissions, while India emitted 7% of the Co2 emissions.
  • Climate Ambition Alliance: The Climate Ambition Alliance was launched at the Climate Action Summit in New York, US in September 2019 where UN secretary-general, António Guterres appealed all 197 countries to scale up their climate action targets – known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – by 2020.

IUCN: Species under increasing threat from climate change:
The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) on December 10, 2019 updated its “Red List of Threatened Species”. The IUCN reported that hundreds of plant and animal species are under further pressure from manmade climate change.

IUCN Data:

  • New species added: The IUCNadded 1,840 new species to its catalogue of plants and animals that are at risk of extinction.
  • Current species count: As of now, the list contains more than 30,000 species under threat of disappearing. The IUCN had witnessed genuine declines in 73 species since its last assessment.
  • 37% of Australia’s freshwater fish species were threatened with extinction. The Short-tail nurse shark has already declined around 805 over the last 30 years.
  • Director General: The IUCN acting director general is Grethel Aguilar.

8 yr old Licypriya Kangujam urged leaders at COP25 to act on climate change:
8-year-old Indian climate activist Licypriya Kangujam from Bashikhong in Manipur participated in the COP 25 and urged the leaders to act effectively and efficiently on climate change. Licypriya is considered as Indian Greta Thunberg (Swedish climate activist).

  • Meet with UN Secretary General: Kangujam met the UN Secretary-General António Guterres during COP25 and submitted a memorandum “on behalf of the children of the world.”
  • She was earlier in the news for spending weeks in front of the Indian parliament with a placard, urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and MPs to pass climate change law to control and regulate the emission of carbon.

India called for speedier expansion of International Solar Alliance:
India called for speedier expansion of the International Solar Alliance(ISA) that was launched in 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande in Gurugram, india requested other countries to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

ISA members:  There are a total of 83 members of ISA. Eritrea and Saint Kitts and Nevis became the latest members of ISA in October 2019.

India to continue work on protecting long term development interests at COP25:
India expressed its willingness to continue its work protecting long term development interests at Madrid Climate Conference, the COP 25. India emphasized that developed countries should take the lead in undertaking ambitious actions and fulfil their climate finance commitments of mobilizing $100 billion per annum by 2020.

About Spain:
Capital- Madrid.
Currency- Euro.
Prime Minister- Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón.