The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations’ climate science body, recently published the third part of its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6).
The second part of the report, which covered climate change impacts, risks and vulnerabilities, and adaptation options, was released in March 2022.
The first section of this report, which covered the physical science of climate change, was released in 2021. It had previously warned that 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming was likely to be achieved before 2040.
Global net anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were 59 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) in 2019, up 54% from 1990.
The term “net emissions” refers to emissions that are accounted for after deducting emissions absorbed by the world’s forests and oceans.
Anthropogenic emissions are those that result from human-caused activities such as coal combustion for energy or forest harvesting.
This increase in emissions has been primarily driven by CO2 emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels and the industrial sector, as well as methane emissions.
However, the average annual rate of growth slowed to 1.3 percent per year from 2010 to 2019, compared to 2.1 percent per year from 2000 to 2009.
At least 18 countries have continuously reduced GHG emissions for more than ten years due to decarbonization of their energy systems, energy efficiency measures, and reduced energy demand.
Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Emissions: Carbon inequality remains as pervasive as ever, with LDCs emitting only 3.3 percent of global emissions in 2019.
In the period 1990-2019, their average per capita emissions were only 1.7 tonnes CO2e, compared to the global average of 6.9 tCO2e.
In the period 1850-2019, LDCs contributed less than 0.4 percent of total historical CO2 emissions from fossil fuels and industry.
In 2019, 41 percent of the world’s population lived in countries with per capita CO2 emissions of less than 3 tCO2e.
Pledges to the Paris Agreement: After adding up the NDCs announced by countries until October 2021, the IPCC concludes that warming is likely to exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius (°C) this century, thereby failing the Paris Agreement’s mandate.
Nationally Determined Contributions are current pledges made by countries that have signed the Paris Agreement (NDCs).
CO2 emissions from existing and planned fossil fuel infrastructure — coal, oil, and gas — play a significant role in this projected failure.
The IPCC outlines what the world needs to do in its best-case scenario, known as the C1 pathway, to limit temperatures to 1.5°C with little or no ‘overshoot.’
Low Emissions Technologies: To meet the 1.5°C target, widespread system transformations’ across the energy, buildings, transportation, land, and other sectors are required, which will entail adopting low-emission or zero-carbon development pathways in each sector. And solutions are available at reasonable prices.
Since 2010, the costs of low-emission technologies have steadily decreased. On a unit cost basis, solar energy has dropped by 85%, wind energy by 55%, and lithium-ion batteries by 85%.
Their deployment, or use, has increased many times since 2010 — ten times for solar and one hundred times for electric vehicles.
Among the numerous solutions are the reduction of fossil fuel use in the energy sector, demand management and energy efficiency in the industrial sector, and the adoption of’sufficiency’ and efficiency principles in building construction.
It also states that demand-side mitigation, such as adopting plant-based diets or switching to walking and cycling, “can reduce global GHG emissions in end-use sectors by 40-70 percent by 2050 compared to baseline scenarios” and improve wellbeing.
The majority of the potential for demand-side mitigation is currently concentrated in developed countries.
According to the IPCC, low-cost climate mitigation options could cut global GHG emissions in half by 2030. Indeed, the long-term benefits of limiting global warming outweigh the costs.
Investing in decarbonization would have a negligible impact on global GDP (GDP).
Financial Flows Fall Short: Financial flows fall short of the levels required to meet the ambitious mitigation targets.
The agriculture, forestry, and other land uses (AFOLU) sector and developing countries have the widest gaps.
However, the global financial system is large enough, and there is “enough global capital and liquidity” to close these gaps.
It recommends increased public grants for developing countries, as well as “increased levels of public finance and publicly mobilised private finance flows from developed to developing countries in the context of the USD 100 billion-a-year goal; increased use of public guarantees to reduce risks and leverage private flows at lower cost; local capital market development, and greater trust in international cooperation processes.”
It is the international body in charge of evaluating climate change science.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established it in 1988 to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, as well as options for adaptation and mitigation.
IPCC assessments serve as a scientific foundation for governments at all levels to develop climate-related policies, and they serve as the foundation for negotiations at the UN Climate Conference – the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The Assessment Reports, the first of which was published in 1990, are the most in-depth assessments of the state of the Earth’s climate.
The IPCC publishes assessment reports every few years (roughly every seven years).
Hundreds of experts sift through every piece of relevant, published scientific information in order to develop a shared understanding of the changing climate.
The four subsequent evaluation reports, each thousands of pages long, were published in 1995, 2001, 2007, and 2015.
These have served as the foundation for the global response to climate change.
Each assessment report has built on the work of the previous ones over the years, adding more evidence, information, and data.
As a result, most conclusions about climate change and its consequences now have far greater clarity, certainty, and a wealth of new evidence than previously.
These negotiations resulted in the Paris Agreement and, previously, the Kyoto Protocol.
The Paris Agreement, which was negotiated in response to the Fifth Assessment Report.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has released the Air Quality Database 2022, which shows that almost the entire global population (99 percent) breathes air that exceeds WHO’s air quality limits.
For the first time, the WHO measured annual mean nitrogen dioxide concentrations on the ground (NO2). It also includes measurements of Particulate Matter with diameters of 10 m or less (PM10) or 2.5 m or less (PM2.5) (PM2.5).
The findings have prompted WHO to emphasise the importance of reducing the use of fossil fuels and taking other concrete steps to reduce air pollution levels.
Previously, the 2021 World Air Quality Report released by IQ Air (a Swiss group) identified India as having 11 of the 15 most polluted cities in Central and South Asia in 2021.
Unhealthy Air: More than 6,000 cities in 117 countries now monitor air quality, but their residents continue to breathe unhealthy levels of fine particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide, with people in low and middle-income countries being the most vulnerable.
Increased Data Collection: Up to 2,000 more cities and human settlements are now collecting ground monitoring data for particulate matter, PM10 and/or PM2.5, than were included in the previous update (2018).
This represents a nearly six fold increase in reporting since the database’s inception in 2011.
The Effects of Air Pollution: Meanwhile, the evidence base for the harm caused by air pollution to the human body is rapidly expanding, pointing to significant harm caused by even low levels of many air pollutants.
Particulate matter, particularly PM 2.5, has the ability to penetrate deep into the lungs and enter the bloodstream, causing Cardiovascular, Cerebrovascular (stroke), and Respiratory effects.
NO2 is linked to respiratory diseases, particularly asthma, resulting in respiratory symptoms (such as coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing), hospitalizations, and emergency room visits.
Observance of WHO Air Quality Guidelines: In the 117 countries that monitor air quality, 17 percent of cities in high-income countries have air quality that falls below WHO guidelines for PM 2.5 or PM 10.
In low and middle-income countries, less than 1% of cities have air quality that meets WHO recommendations.
The 2021 guidelines propose new air quality standards to protect people’s health by lowering levels of key air pollutants, some of which also contribute to climate change.
Countries that strive to meet these guidelines will be protecting public health as well as mitigating global climate change.
The WHO decision lays the groundwork for future policy shifts in the government toward the development of newer, stricter standards.
The WHO’s new guidelines recommend air quality levels for six pollutants where evidence on health effects from exposure has advanced the most.
Particulate matter (PM 2.5 and 10), ozone (O3), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), and carbon monoxide are the six traditional pollutants (CO).
Adopt or revise national air quality standards in accordance with the most recent WHO Air Quality Guidelines.
Keep an eye on the air quality and look for sources of pollution.
Encourage the use of clean household energy exclusively for cooking, heating, and lighting.
Construct safe and affordable public transportation systems, as well as pedestrian and bicycle-friendly networks.
Implement stricter vehicle emissions and efficiency standards, as well as mandatory vehicle inspection and maintenance.
Invest in energy-efficient housing and renewable energy generation.
Improve waste management in industry and municipalities
Reduce the incineration of agricultural waste, forest fires, and certain agroforestry activities (e.g. charcoal production)
Include air pollution in health professional curricula and provide tools for the health sector to engage.
Nepal’s Prime Minister paid a visit to India and met with the Indian Prime Minister at a summit meeting.
Previously, the Union Cabinet approved a plan to build a new bridge connecting India and Nepal across the Mahakali river, connecting Dharchula in Uttarakhand with Dharchula in Nepal.
The 35-kilometer cross-border railway line connecting Jaynagar in Bihar to Kurtha in Nepal was inaugurated.
This is the first broad-gauge passenger rail link between the two countries, and it will be extended to Bardibas in Nepal as part of a Rs 548 crore Indian grant.
Solu Corridor: The Indian side handed over the Solu Corridor, a 90-kilometer, 132-kV power transmission line built under an Indian line of credit for Rs 200 crore.
By connecting to the country’s national grid, the line will help bring electricity to several remote districts in northeastern Nepal.
India’s RuPay card was launched in Nepal.
The domestic RuPay card will now be accepted at 1,400 point-of-sale machines in Nepal, which is expected to boost bilateral tourist flows.
Nepal is the fourth country in the world to accept RuPay, following Bhutan, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Nepal signed a framework agreement to join the India-led International Solar Alliance (becoming the 105th member country).
Three more agreements were signed: a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on improving technical cooperation in the railway sector, and two agreements between Indian Oil Corporation and Nepal Oil Corporation for the supply of petroleum products for five years and the sharing of technical expertise.
India called for taking full advantage of opportunities in the power sector, including joint development of power generation projects in Nepal and the development of cross-border transmission infrastructure, in the Joint Vision Statement on Power Sector Cooperation.
India plays an important role in the development of Nepal’s power sector, including capacity building and direct support for generation and transmission infrastructure projects.
Nepal also praised India’s recent cross-border electricity trade regulations, which have allowed it to gain access to India’s market and trade power. Nepal exports excess power to India.
The two parties agreed to speed up work on the long-delayed Pancheshwar multipurpose dam project (on the Mahakali river), which is regarded as a game changer for the region’s development.
Nepal’s Prime Minister has urged his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, to take action to resolve a border dispute.
The Indian side stated unequivocally that both countries must address the boundary issue through dialogue in order to avoid politicising such issues.
India had previously rejected Nepal’s unilateral move in 2020 to amend its constitution to include the Kalapani region for the first time.
Nepal is an important neighbour of India and holds a special place in its foreign policy due to centuries-old geographic, historical, cultural, and economic ties.
In terms of Hinduism and Buddhism, India and Nepal have similar ties, with Buddha’s birthplace Lumbini located in modern-day Nepal.
Not only do the two countries share an open border and free movement of people, but they also have close bonds formed through marriages and familial ties, popularly known as Roti-Beti ka Rishta.
The India-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 serves as the foundation of India-Nepal special relations.
In terms of ecology and hydropower potential, rivers originating in Nepal feed the perennial river systems of India.
India is Nepal’s largest trade partner and the largest source of foreign investment, in addition to providing transit for nearly all of Nepal’s third-country trade.
As a landlocked country, Nepal is surrounded by India on three sides, with one side open to Tibet and with very limited vehicular access.
India and Nepal have launched a number of connectivity initiatives to strengthen people-to-people ties and promote economic growth and development.
Both governments have signed memorandums of understanding to lay an electric rail track connecting Kathmandu and Raxaul in India.
Within the framework of trade and transit agreements, India is looking to develop inland waterways for cargo movement, providing Nepal with additional access to the sea and dubbed it the “Sagarmatha-Sagarmatha-Sagarmatha-Sagarmatha-Sagarmatha-Sagarmatha-Sagarmatha-Sagarmatha-Sagarmatha-Sagarmatha-Sagarmatha-Sa (Indian Ocean).
Bilateral defence cooperation includes providing equipment and training to the Nepalese Army in order to modernise it.
The Indian Army’s Gorkha Regiments are raised in part through recruitment from Nepal’s hill districts.
Surya Kiran, a joint military exercise between India and Nepal, has been held every year since 2011.
India has signed three sister-city agreements for Kathmandu-Varanasi, Lumbini-Bodhgaya, and Janakpur-Ayodhya.
A sister city or twin town relationship is a legal or social agreement formed between two geographically and politically distinct localities.
As a landlocked country, Nepal relied on Indian imports for many years, and India was involved in Nepal’s affairs.
However, Nepal has shifted away from India’s influence in recent years, and China has gradually filled the void with investments, aid, and loans.
Nepal is a key partner in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and the Chinese government wants to invest in Nepal’s infrastructure as part of its grand plans to boost global trade.
Rising Nepal-China cooperation may jeopardise Nepal’s status as a buffer state between India and China.
China, on the other hand, wishes to avoid the formation of any anti-China sentiment among Tibetans in Nepal.
The issue erupted in November 2019 when Nepal issued a new political map claiming Kalapani, Limpiyadhura, and Lipulekh in Uttarakhand as part of its territory. Susta (West Champaran district, Bihar) is also marked on the new map.
Under the auspices of International Law on Trans-boundary Water Disputes, India should engage in diplomatic negotiations with Nepal to resolve their boundary dispute. In this case, the resolution of boundary disputes between India and Bangladesh should serve as a model.
India should engage Nepal more proactively in terms of people-to-people interactions, bureaucratic interactions, and political interactions.
Simple disagreements should not escalate into disputes, and both countries should work to resolve the issues peacefully.
N V Ramana, the Chief Justice of India, launched FASTER (Fast and Secured Transmission of Electronic Records).
The FASTER is a digital platform that allows the Supreme Court to communicate interim orders, stay orders, bail orders, and other Supreme Court orders to the authorities involved via a secure electronic communication channel.
This system is being developed on a war footing by the Supreme Court Registry in collaboration with the National Informatics Centre.
Orders issued by the Supreme Court and other High Courts must be transmitted safely and without tampering by third parties using this system.
This system will aid in the electronic transmission of critical decisions, such as bail orders and stays of arrest, to prison authorities and investigating agencies via a secure channel.
This would shorten the time it takes the court to release prisoners due to the delay in physical orders reaching the prison authorities.
FASTER cell – A FASTER cell has been established in the Supreme Court Registry.
The cell will email the nodal officers and duty holders concerned a digitally signed record of proceedings or orders related to bail and release issued by the court.
Beekeeping was added as a supplemental activity under the National Horticulture Mission (NHM) in 2005 to promote cross pollination of horticultural crops.
In 2000, it was established as a Registered Society under the Societies Registration Act, XXI of 1860, and it was promoted by the Small Farmers’ Agri-Business Consortium (SFAC).
The National Bee Board (NBB) was reconstituted in 2006 in response to the enormous potential for increasing productivity through cross pollination and income through apiculture.
The main goal of this Board is to promote scientific beekeeping in India in order to increase crop productivity through pollination and honey production in order to increase the income of beekeepers/farmers.
The Board receives funding from the National Horticulture Mission and the Horticulture Mission for North East and Himalayan States Scheme.