Global Warming and India

Global Warming and India

With the 24th. Conference of Parties (COP 24) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) scheduled to be held in Poland from 3rd. to 14th. December this year, the next two months promise to be busy ones for India on the climate front. COP 24 would review the progress of implementation of the pledges made by member- countries In Paris in 2015 to take steps to reduce their emissions of the global warming Greenhouse gases (GHGs) and adapt themselves to conditions in a warming world. Expectedly, countries would be exhorted to up their pledges as a measure of their ambition to combat warming since the Paris pledges are not found sufficient enough to keep down global temperature rise to desired critical levels.

The forthcoming Conference has to be looked at against the background of certain ominous developments on the climate front. The latest of these is the alarming conclusion of the Special Report prepared by an expert body at the instance of the Parties to the UNFCCC. The expert body called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was tasked to look into the desirability of keeping the global temperature rise to below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Currently, the temperatures stand at about a degree above such levels. Under the Paris Climate Agreement (2015), a rise of 2.0 degrees was accepted as the target to aim at pending completion of the study by the IPCC. By way of assistance, it may be added here that the build- up of carbon dioxide and some other gases (collectively called Greenhouse gases or GHGs)in the atmosphere leads to the formation of a cover which traps the heat released from earth and reflects it back, thereby raising earth’s temperature. Therefore, containing temperature rise means reducing GHG releases into the atmosphere from the present levels.

The IPCC Special Report has concluded that limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius confers several benefits over the 2.0 degree target , particularly in avoiding irreversible damage to earth’s life supporting ecosystems. Hence, a target of 1.5 degrees should be aimed at instead of a 2.0 degree one. Further, to have a two-thirds chance of temperature rise not exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius, it would be necessary to limit the total releases of the premier GHG, that is carbon dioxide, from now on, to a cumulative figure of 550 giga tonnes ; if one could risk having a lesser chance of keeping within the 1.5 degrees limit, say fifty percent, then the total releases can remain at a lower level of about 550 giga tonnes. These figures would show how limited the availability of atmospheric space has become thanks to the profligacy in its use by the developed countries in the past. Whatever limit we choose, with the current global releases of 42 giga tonnes of Carbon dioxide per year and possible increases in the medium run , the available atmospheric space for this gas would be consumed in another ten to thirty years. Unless steps are taken now to reduce these releases drastically, runaway temperature rise would result.

The release of the Special Report is expected to generate pressures on all countries, except the least developed and the climate endangered, to raise their levels of climate ambition backed by appropriate action plans in extension of their Paris Pledges. This call may become strident because of the US pullout from the Paris Agreement last year. The slack has to be picked up by others. Further, other developments like Japan entering into a phase of expansion of its coal-based power generation capacity or Canadian efforts to step up oil extraction from tar stands or the melting of the Arctic ice cover are also not friendly to efforts to contain global warming.

Should India commit itself to step up its efforts? The answer should be a firm “no”. It has already been deprived of climate justice and equity because its cries for allowing it to raise its annual per capita releases of GHGs to the global average of about 4.0 MTs has not found acceptance. Even today, its per capita releases amount to 1.8 metric tonnes only. Despite this denial, India’s Paris Pledge was a generous one. India committed to raise its installed renewable energy generation capacity to 175 giga watts by 2022, reduce its carbon emission intensity of growth by 33-35% from 2005 levels by 2030, and lastly, to create an additional carbon sink capable of absorbing 2.5 to 3.0 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide.This is a Herculean task and the way the country has gone about it is worthy of appreciation. But this does not mean that there is scope for vaulting these ambitions.

Historically, developed countries have been responsible for landing humanity in this “existential crisis”. Some of them have accepted this charge, though grudgingly. The US has not. Calls for compensation for damages caused already have been turned down. Given this less than fair treatment, India cannot be saddled with more commitments. It is for the rich to pick up the new challenge thrown up by the IPCC.

India’s first and foremost task is poverty alleviation. It has quite some way to go in this direction. Hence, India should do what it needs to do. It need not do what others desire it to do.

N.R.Krishnan
Former Secretary to the Govt. of India
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

IBC Updates

IBC Updates – October 2018

 

22nd October, 2018 – Insolvency Law Committee submits its 2nd Report on Cross Border Insolvency Recommends adoption of the UNCITRAL Model Law of Cross Border Insolvency, 1997

The Insolvency Law Committee (ILC) constituted by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to recommend amendments to Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code of India, 2016, has submitted its 2nd Report to the Government, which deals with cross border insolvency. The ILC has recommended the adoption of the UNCITRAL Model Law of Cross Border Insolvency, 1997, as it provides for a comprehensive framework to deal with cross border insolvency issues. The UNCITRAL model law, adopted by 44 countries, will provide greater confidence to foreign investors while giving precedence to domestic laws.

 

22nd October, 2018 – IBBI notifies the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Mechanism for Issuing Regulations) Regulations, 2018

Given the importance of subordinate legislations for the various processes under the Code, it is essential that the IBBI has a structured, robust mechanism, which includes effective engagement with the stakeholders, for making regulations. In sync with this philosophy and the statutory requirement, the IBBI notified the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Mechanism for Issuing Regulations) Regulations, 2018 (Issuing Regulations) to govern the process of making regulations and consulting with the public.

 

11th October, 2018 – IBBI amends the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Insolvency Professionals) Regulations, 2016

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Board) has notified the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Insolvency Professionals) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2018. The salient amendments were that an insolvency professional shall pay to the Board, a fee calculated at the rate of 0.25 percent of the professional fee earned for the services rendered by him as an insolvency professional in the preceding financial year, on or before the 30th of April every year. The amendment also provides that a delay in payment of fee by an insolvency professional or an insolvency professional entity will attract a simple interest at the rate of 12 percent per annum on the amount of fee unpaid, without prejudice to any other action which the Board may take as deemed fit under the Code or any regulations made there under.

 

11th October, 2018 – IBBI amends (a) the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Insolvency Professional Agencies) Regulations, 2016, (b) the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Model Bye-Laws and Governing Board of Insolvency Professional Agencies) Regulations, 2016, and (c) the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Information Utilities) Regulations, 2017

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Insolvency Professional Agencies) (Amendment) Regulations, 2018 provide that no person shall at any time, directly or indirectly, either individually or together with persons acting in concert, acquire or hold more than five per cent of the paid-up equity share capital in an insolvency professional agency (IPA). The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Model Bye-Laws and Governing Board of Insolvency Professional Agencies) (Amendment) Regulations, 2018 provide for composition of the Governing Board of an IPA and its managing director. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Information Utilities) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2018 have made similar provisions, as narrated in Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Model Bye-Laws and Governing Board of Insolvency Professional Agencies) (Amendment) Regulations, 2018, in respect of an information utility (IU).

 

5th October, 2018 – IBBI amends the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate Persons) Regulations, 2016

The Regulations earlier required the resolution professional to circulate the minutes of the meeting by electronic means to all members of the committee of creditors within forty-eight hours of the conclusion of the meeting and to seek a vote of the members who did not vote at the meeting. The amendment now requires the resolution professional to circulate the minutes of the meeting by electronic means to authorized representative(s) also. The Regulations will enable a financial creditor in a class, who could not vote on a matter before the meeting, to vote after minutes of the meeting are circulated.

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