Topics covered today are important on the basis of General Studies Paper – II & III.
Spirit of Paris : on the climate change in Bonn :-
The 23rd Conference of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change under way in Bonn, Germany. Though one of the top emitters of GHG, US has announced its withdrawal from pact earlier this year.
The recent Emissions Gap Report from the UN underscores the terrible mismatch between the voluntary pledges made by countries for the Paris Agreement and what is necessary to keep a rise in global average temperature below 2º C, preferably 1.5º C sets a major challenge to World Leaders.
Major risks faced by World Leaders because of Climate Change :-
- Extreme weather phenomena
- Loss of agriculture
- Water stress and harm to human health, pose a threat to millions around the world.
- Countries like Fiji, which holds the presidency of the Bonn conference, and other small island-states, the future is deeply worrying because of the fear that sea levels may rise sharply due to climate change.
What have been improved ?
- Growth of renewable energy sources as they become cheaper
- The efficiency of solar, wind and energy storage technologies improves.
India’s stand on Climate Change :-
- It has committed itself to lowering the emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35% by 2030 from the 2005 level.
- India has been awarded among the highest levels of multilateral climate funding at $745 million since 2013.
- India equally focusing on to embrace green technologies across the spectrum of activity, including buildings and transport.
What India needs to do to tackle Climate Change ?
- Securing funds for mitigation and adaptation is a high priority for India
- It must ensure that States acquire the capacity to absorb such assistance efficiently.
Breach in the Pact :-
Before we talk about GATT, it is important to know what is it ?
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was a legal agreement between many countries, whose overall purpose was to promote international trade by reducing or eliminating trade barriers such as tariffs or quotas.
It was first discussed during the United Nations Conference on Trade and Employment and was the outcome of the failure of negotiating governments to create the International Trade Organization (ITO).
GATT Key Points :-
- Washington emerged as a staunch votary of the GATT’s so-called Most Favoured Nation principle.
- Under this non-discrimination provision, tariff concessions agreed by any two contracting parties would be extended immediately and unconditionally to all others.
- Despite the incorporation of provisions against protectionism, GATT also codified exceptions that allowed countries to retain the old restrictions on imports for a time.
After the Uruguay Round Agreements in 1994 which has established WTO in 1995, whose scope extends well beyond tariff reductions to trade in services and much else. In other words WTO is a successor to GATT.
Since Trump came in we have seen Trump opposing the several pacts like NAFTA, GATT & WTO. Similarly, the rhetoric on the surge in Chinese imports since Beijing’s 2001 accession to the WTO seeks to play down the benefits of cheaper consumer goods and the opportunities in outsourcing and exports. Earlier this year, Washington quit the Trans-Pacific Partnership trading bloc, and continues to threaten taxes on overseas operations of domestic industries and astronomical import tariffs.