[Answered] Describe the major outcomes of the 26th session of the Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change (UNFCCC). What are the commitments made by India in this conference? (Answer in 250 words)

The 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) was held in Glasgow, UK with the aim to finalise the rules and procedures for implementation of the Paris Agreement and to get all countries to commit to a net-zero target by a specific year. 

Outcomes of COP-26 

  1. For the first time, COP agreed upon phasing down coal power. A pledge to end coal power generation by 2040 was taken. 
  2. Providing the long promised $100 billion annual support towards developing countries’ green transition. 
  3. Supporting electric vehicles and a phase out of gasoline and diesel-powered motor vehicles by 2040. 
  4. Reversing deforestation in an attempt to protect existing nature-based solutions to capturing emissions. 
  5. The Paris Agreement rulebook was completed which kept the Paris targets alive of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius. 
  6. The member countries agreed for the Glasgow Climate Pact, under which member countries will report their progress towards more climate ambition next year, at COP27 Egypt. 
  7. A methane pledge, led by the United States and the European Union, by which more than 100 countries agreed to cut emissions of this greenhouse gas by 2030. 

India’s commitment at COP-26 

  1. India announced that its net zero target is to be achieved by 2070. 
  2. The Government of India has launched ‘E-Amrit’, a web portal on electric vehicles (EVs), in COP-26. The portal will encourage adoption of EV and bust myth regarding it. 
  3. India did not join methane pledge as it would have negatively impacted India’s agriculture. 
  4. India will fulfil 50% of its energy requirement through renewable energy by 2030. 
  5. India will reduce 1 billion tonnes of carbon emissions by 2030. 

Although, COP-26 marked several breakthroughs in action towards climate change, yet the targets are not enough to control the rise of earth’s temperature by 1.5 degree at the end of century. Therefore, the countries should constantly strive to improve upon targets and adopt newer carbon neutral technologies. 

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