IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Five years since Paris, an opportunity to build back better

23rd December, 2020 Environment

Context: December 12 marked the five-year anniversary of the Paris Agreement.

  • The international community, including the European Union (EU) and India, gathered at the Climate Ambition Summit 2020 to celebrate and recognise our resolve in working towards a safer, more resilient world with net-zero emissions.
  • During the past five years, the determination of the global community has certainly been tested

Green recovery

In the midst of this pandemic, is it realistic to call for stronger global action to fight climate change?

  • It is more valid now than ever. For future prosperity, we must invest in greening the global economy. Post-COVID-19 recovery needs to be a green recovery.
  • Back in December 2019, the European Commission launched the European Green Deal — a new growth model and roadmap to achieve climate neutrality in the EU by 2050.

European Green Deal

  • To reach climate neutrality by 2050, on December 11, EU leaders unanimously agreed on the 2030 target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% compared to 1990 levels.
  • This will further accelerate the fast decrease in the costs of low carbon technologies. The cost of solar photovoltaics has already declined by 82% between 2010 and 2019.
  • Achieving the 55% target will even help us to save €100 billion in the next decade and up to €3 trillion by 2050.

Working with India

  • No government can tackle climate change alone. There is need to foster cooperation with partners from all around the world.
  • India is a key player in this global endeavour. The rapid development of solar and wind energy in India in the last few years is a good example of the action needed worldwide.
  • The EU and India are committed to the full implementation of the Paris Agreement.
  • India has taken a number of very significant flagship initiatives in this respect, such as the International Solar Alliance, the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure and the Leadership Group for Industry Transition.
  • India and Team Europe are engaged to make a success of the forthcoming international gatherings: COP 26 in Glasgow on climate change and COP 15 in Kunming on biodiversity.
  • There is a sense of global momentum emerging towards keeping the promise of the Paris Agreement and securing our future on this planet.
  • Five years after the signing of the Paris Agreement, it is more important than ever that the international community comes forward with clear strategies for net-zero emissions and to enhance the global level of ambition for 2030.
  • Together with the delivery of the $100 billion of climate financing to countries most in need, these will be deliverables for the climate negotiations when they resume at COP 26 in Glasgow next November.

Build back better

  • To avoid the most dramatic impacts of climate change on our societies. Our global, regional, national, local and individual recovery plans are an opportunity to ‘build back better’.
  • Good public policies are indispensable but not sufficient. We will also need to foster small individual actions to attain a big collective impact.
  • This is the snowball effect we need starting from the Paris Agreement.
  • With climate neutrality as our goal, the world should mobilise its best scientists, business people, policymakers, academics, civil society actors and citizens to protect together something we all share beyond borders and species: our planet.