16, November 2017

1.India’s Positive Actions at Ministerial Press Conference of BASIC Countries at COP 23

Source: PIB

The BASIC Joint Statement is a true reflection of joint commitment and solidarity of BASIC group and that BASIC will continue to work together to achieve the ultimate goal of addressing climate change in a manner that avoids dangerous anthropogenic interference with climate system and temperature goal.

Highlights of this conference:

  • India has been amongst the frontrunners in meeting its voluntary targets of reduction of emission intensity of its GDP.
  • The Minister called upon both developed and developing countries to fulfill their commitment for pre-2020 period. He further voiced India’s equal commitment to achieve Nationally Determined Contribution target of reduction of energy intensity of India’s GDP by 33-35% by 2030.
  • An early ratification of second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol and concrete actions on provisions of support. India expects that the second commitment period is operationalized as per existing commitments.
  • By 2020, the goal of $100 billion per year must be achieved and following the principle of non-regression and that this must improve further in following years.
  • India’s contribution to cumulative stock of CO2 equivalent is less than 3%
  • India would like to call upon the global community to adopt a sustainable lifestyle that alone can help us achieve objectives of keeping the global temperature rise within desirable limits. That developed and developing countries have different circumstances and therefore differentiation between developed and developing must be factored in all decisions going forward. These decisions must adhere to principles of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDRs) and Respective Capabilities, equity and climate justice.
  • India’s positive climate actions including promotion of renewable energy, sustainable transport, afforestation policies, climate friendly agricultural practices, energy efficiency, water conservation, smart cities. That India is one of the few countries where, despite ongoing development, forest and tree cover has increased, transforming country’s forests into a net sink owing to national policies aimed at conservation and sustainable management of forests. As an NDC goal, India aims at creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030.
  • That India has achieved the renewable energy capacity of 60 GW and that aims to scale it up further to achieve about 40 percent of cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel based energy resources by 2030.

BASIC Countries:

  • The BASIC countries (also Basic countries or BASIC) are a bloc of four large newly industrialized countries – Brazil, South Africa, India and China – formed by an agreement on 28 November 2009.
  • The ministers from BASIC grouping (Brazil, South Africa, India and China)  the large number of ratifications under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) achieved to date and requested remaining parties to the UNFCCC to ratify the Agreement at an early date.

2.BASIC countries reiterate commitment to implementation of climate treaties – 25th BASIC Ministerial Meeting on Climate Change

Source: The Hindu

Ministers from BASIC nations urge developed countries to honour their commitments and increase climate finance to at least $100 billion per annum by 2020

  • The advanced developing countries quartet BASIC comprising India, China, Brazil, and South Africa have reiterated political commitment to the “full, effective, and sustained” implementation of the UN Climate Convention and its treaties, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.

Pre 2020 and Post 2020

  • The quartet reiterated the need to ensure progress on finalising the rulebook for implementing the Paris Agreement in the post 2020 period, and focus on commitments made in the pre-2020 period.
  • In a statement, the BASIC called for “pre-2020 issues to be given equal treatment” at the ongoing climate talks.
  • The four advanced countries have called for the accelerating the implementation of the pre-2020 commitments and action. They stressed on the demand for the inclusion of the pre-2020 climate actions as part of the formal discussions at the ongoing climate talks.
  • The BASIC ministers underscored the need for “advancing textual negotiation in order to produce a “comprehensive, party-driven negotiating text covering all the matters related to the implementation of the Paris Agreement at COP 23 that can serve as the basis for negotiations in 2018”.

Significance:

  • The ministers emphasised that climate adaptation is an issue that needs an urgent global response and urged developed countries to provide adequate support to their developing counterparts in meeting the cost of their adaptation actions.
  • “The extent to which developed countries will provide sustained, predictable and adequate finance, technology development and transfer and capacity-building support to developing countries will determine the extent to which developing countries are able to contribute their highest possible ambition towards addressing the global challenge of climate change.
  • Ministers further urged developed countries to honour their commitments and increase climate finance to at least $100 billion per annum by 2020.
  • The BASIC grouping expressed their “deepest concern” over some developed nations’ attempt at unilaterally applying new eligibility criteria for developing countries’ access to funding under the Global Environmental Facility and the Green Climate Fund.

Concern

  • Expressing concern that pre-2020 gaps exist not only in mitigation, but also in adaptation and support to developing countries, the ministers noted that urgent implementation of pre-2020 commitments is a prerequisite for mutual trust among Parties and for building a solid foundation for post-2020 implementation and ambition.
  • The pre-2020 agenda is an important one for BASIC countries and is being pursued. How these will be carried out will depend on further consulations, but we believe that it is important moving forward.

Global Environment Facility:

  • The Global Environment Facility (GEF or the Facility) was established in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD or World Bank) as a pilot program in order to assist in the protection of the global environment and promote thereby environmentally sound and sustainable economic development, by resolution of the Executive Directors of the World Bank and related interagency arrangements between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Bank.
  • The GEF shall operate, on the basis of collaboration and partnership among the Implementing Agencies, as a mechanism for international cooperation for the purpose of providing new and additional grant and concessional funding to meet the agreed incremental costs of measures to achieve agreed global environmental benefits in the following focal areas:
  • (a) biological diversity; (b) climate change; (c) international waters; (d) land degradation, primarily desertification and deforestation; (e) chemicals and wastes

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established on the eve of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit to help tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems

Read More: https://www.thegef.org/about-us

Green Climate Fund:

  • The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a new global fund created to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenge of climate change. GCF helps developing countries limit or reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to climate change. It seeks to promote a paradigm shift to low-emission and climate-resilient development, taking into account the needs of nations that are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts.
  • The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) invited the World Bank to serve as interim trustee of the Green Climate Fund.
  • Its functions in this capacity include the receipt, holding and investment of financial contributions from contributors, transfer of financial resources pursuant to instruction by GCF, and preparation of summary financial reports.
  • The Green Climate Fund was established with a mission to advance the goal of keeping the temperature increase on our home planet below 2 degrees Celsius.

Read More: http://www.greenclimate.fund/who-we-are/about-the-fund

3.All you know about Zimbabwe crisis

Source: The Hindu

The military in Zimbabwe has launched a ‘coup’ on November 15, 2017, calling it a “bloodless correction” to target “criminals” surrounding long-time leader Robert Mugabe.

Who is Robert Mugabe?

  • Robert Mugabe is the only leader Zimbabwe had since it won freedom from British colonial rule in 1980. At 93, Mr. Mugabe is the world’s oldest head of state. His poor health has fueled a bitter succession battle as potential replacements jockey for position. His lengthy rule has been marked by brutal repression of dissent, mass emigration, vote-rigging and economic collapse since land reforms in 2000.

What triggered the current stand-off between military and the civilian government?

  • The current crisis stems from a political shake-up earlier this month, but the roots of it go back much further. On Nov. 6, Mugabe decided to fire Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa. The move caused unrest in the president’s ruling ZANU-PF party and the army. Mnangagwa has support among the military and was seen as a potential successor to Mugabe.

What happens next?

  • It’s unclear. There’s still a ton of uncertainty about the military’s intentions. There has been no sign of violence so far in the military action, and there have not been public demonstrations either in favor of it or against it.
  • Foreign officials and regional leaders have called for calm and the country to avoid conflict, saying they are closely monitoring the situation. Embassies in Zimbabwe have issued statements instructing their citizens in the country to shelter in place and monitor the news for updates.
  • Although the situation is still unfolding, there is a strong possibility that this is the beginning of the end for Mugabe’s rule and his status as the world’s oldest serving president.

4.Asia Pacific Cert (APCERT) Discuss Building Trust in Digital Economy

Source: PIB

First ever Asia Pacific Computer Emergency Response Team (APCERT) Open Conference in India and the first in South Asia.

It was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Minister of Electronics and Information Technology.

Key facts:

  • The Hon’ble Minister mentioned that innovation in cyber security is a big focus of the Government. There are more than 100 cyber security product companies in India and it was proposed that in furtherance of the Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) preference shall be provided by all procuring entities in the government to domestically manufactured / produced Cyber Security Products.
  • The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology was in the process of working with Data Security Council of India to conduct Challenge Grant for cyber security as a means to encourage budding start-ups to develop innovative technologies.
  • India was selected to be part of the steering committee of APCERT along with 6 (Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan) other countries to shape the agenda for the next 2 years across the region.
  • In India, cyber security professionals got an opportunity to attend a highly content rich technical conference, interact with the Asia Pacific incident response leaders in cyber security and the International community got to see the skills and depth of some of the cyber security start-ups from India.
  • The spectrum of topics covered included setting up sectoral CSIRTS, Nation State exploits, vulnerabilities of block chain, secure communication in industrial internet, cyber-crime in financial technology ecosystem, building a sharing economy, machine learning, malicious behavior in encrypted traffic, mobile security and Artificial Intelligence.

Asia Pacific Computer Emergency Response Team:

  • With the rapid development of the Internet, many Asia Pacific economies are now increasingly dependent on public network applications such as online banking, online stock trading, e-business, e-government and e-customs.
  • The protection of the various national information infrastructures that make up this new and emerging Asia Pacific e-economy is critical to the region’s political and economic stability and security. The need to protect these critical national information infrastructures is also urgent.
  • This growing threat in the Asia Pacific region requires a collaborative approach with the various CERT and CSIRT organizations taking the lead role with full support from their respective governments.

 Bangladesh and Bhutan also.



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