A pledge to make a 30 per cent cut in global methane emissions by 2030, and another to arrest and reverse deforestation by the same year, kept the momentum going on the second day of the climate change conference in Glasgow on Tuesday after India’s five-point climate agenda had provided the thrust on the opening day.
Methane is a dangerous greenhouse gas, with a global warming potential that is more than 80 times that of carbon dioxide, even though it remains in the atmosphere for significantly lesser time as compared to carbon dioxide.
IRIS, which is aimed at strengthening infrastructure in small island states so that they are more resilient against climate disasters, is the first major programme of the Coalition of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI), which was launched by India two years ago.
The One Sun One World One Grid is an action plan of the International Solar Alliance, an India-led initiative, that seeks to create a common solar grid at the global level.
Both these initiative were launched in the presence of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has shared the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on multiple occasions in the last two days, and several other world leaders. One Sun One World One Grid has received the backing of at least 80 countries.
But these were not all. Several countries have announced important revisions in their climate action plans.
Brazil has said that it was willing to advance its net-zero target year from 2060 to 2050. China promised to come out with a detailed roadmap for its commitment to peak its emissions in 2030 and also for its 2060 net-zero target. Israel announced a net-zero target for 2050.
Some financial commitments were also made, most notably by the host UK government which announced a 3-billion-pound commitment to fund green investments in developing countries, including US$ 1 billion specifically for projects in India under the UK-India Green Guarantee initiative.
The series of major announcements from countries has already given Glasgow possibly the most productive opening two days for any climate meeting. But these are individual promises of countries and not a result of negotiations that are still to gather steam. With the heads of states and governments flying home on Tuesday, negotiators would take centrestage from Wednesday, trying to resolve the differences of countries on a host of issues, the most prominent being the rules for the new carbon markets under the Paris Agreement.
Prime Minister Modi flew back to India on Tuesday night after the headline-grabbing visit to Glasgow, during which he also held a series of bilateral meetings with other leaders.