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UN chief calls for great leap towards carbon neutrality

The four-day forum, which kicked off Monday, is organised by Bloomberg Media Group, a division of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

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Antonio Guterres

United Nations, Nov 17: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday called on countries to make a great leap towards carbon neutrality.

“2021 must be the year of a great leap towards carbon neutrality,” the UN chief told the third annual Bloomberg New Economy Forum, described as “a global town hall” that brings together government, business, technology and academia. “Every country, city, financial institution and company should adopt plans for transitioning to net zero emissions by 2050.”

The Secretary-General reported that recently, the European Union, Japan, the Republic of Korea, along with more than 110 other countries, announced their pledges for achieving the carbon neutrality goal, which China also plans to reach before 2060, the Xinhua news agency reported.

“By early 2021, countries representing more than 65 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions and more than 70 per cent of the world economy are very likely to have made ambitious commitments to carbon neutrality,” he said.

“The signal this sends to markets, institutional investors and decision-makers is clear. Carbon should be given a price. The time of fossil fuel subsidies is over. We must phase out coal. We must shift the tax burden from income to carbon, from taxpayers to polluters.”

The UN chief added that financial reporting on exposure to climate risks should be made mandatory, while authorities must integrate the carbon neutrality goal into economic and fiscal policies in order to truly transform industry, agriculture, transportation and the energy sector.

The secretary-general highlighted the value of partnership between the United Nations and the business and private sector, including through initiatives such as the Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance and the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance.

However, he stressed that such coalitions “cannot be global without developing countries, which will need significant support.”

Guterres also acknowledged that the shift to carbon neutrality will not be easy.

“We need a just transition, with training and assistance for those who will lose jobs or be affected in other ways,” he said.

Furthermore, even as countries work to mitigate emissions in the future, they must address current impacts, he said.

The UN chief cited a recent report which revealed that only one-fifth of climate finance goes to adaptation. Furthermore, only 14 per cent of recent financing went to the world’s least developed countries, and only 2 per cent to small island developing states.

“This is not only insufficient; it is dangerous. Adaptation should not be the forgotten component of climate action,” he stated.

“And finally let’s be smart: this will require financing, private and public – but these are investments in a safer, more prosperous and sustainable future.”

As the Covid-19 pandemic deepens, the secretary-general also touched on the United Nations’ ongoing efforts to save lives, control virus spread and ease the fallout.

Additionally, the United Nations is advocating what he calls “a massive rescue package” for the most vulnerable people and countries, in addition to pressing for a global ceasefire, among other actions.

“We are all rightly focused on responding to the pandemic. But as we strive to overcome one crisis, we have an opening to address another,” said Guterres.

“The pandemic has shown that we can think big and act big in the face of an emergency. We have crucial decisions to make in the weeks and months ahead. Let’s get it right.”

The New Economy Forum is an annual gathering of leaders in business, government, energy and trade to discuss some of the world’s most intractable challenges. The coronavirus pandemic and the impact it has wrought on the global economy is a centerpiece of those talks this year.

The four-day forum, which kicked off Monday, is organised by Bloomberg Media Group, a division of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

Business

Utilisation of cow dung will check cow slaughter: Nitin Gadkari

Gadkari said bulk utilisation of cow dung will ensure monetary gains for farmers and will also desist them from selling cows in the market.

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Cow in India

New Delhi, Jan 12 : Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday launched the ‘Khadi Prakritik Paint’ here and said that bulk utilisation of cow dung will ensure monetory gains for farmers and put a check on cow slaughter in the country.

He made the remarks while launching the Khadi Prakritik Pain along with Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Giriraj Singh.

Speaking on the occasion, Gadkari said, “The innovative Khadi Prakritik Paint has the potential of turning into a Rs 6,000 crore market that could revolutionalise the agro-based economy of the country.”

He said that at least five crore new jobs will be created in the MSME sector and the export of Indian MSMEs will be increased from current 48 per cent to 60 per cent in order to achieve the target of $5 trillion dollar economy.

“Very soon a policy will be framed for sharing the technical knowhow of Khadi Prakritik Paint to maximum number of people in India,” he said, adding that Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) will provide technical training to new entrepreneurs who could benefit by manufacturing cow dung paint.

He said that thousands of Prakritik paint manufacturing units can be set up across the country that will give a big boost to the country’s agro-based economy.

Gadkari said bulk utilisation of cow dung will ensure monetary gains for farmers and will also desist them from selling cows in the market.

“This will also put a check on cow slaughter. We will be able to stop cow slaughter through economy,” he said.

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Cities

Minimum temperature to fall 3-4 degree over NW India

The Met Department also confirmed that there will be “no significant change in minimum temperatures over rest parts of the country during next 3-4 days”.

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Cold Winter Weather

New Delhi, Jan 10 : Minimum temperature is very likely to fall gradually by three-four degree Celsius during next three-four days, causing isolated cold wave conditions over Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi and north Rajasthan on January 12 and 13, the IMD said on Sunday.

Prevalence of dry north or northwesterly winds over most parts of northwest India is learnt to be the reason behind the temperature fall, said India Meteorological Department (IMD) in its latest weather summary report.

As per the IMD, strong surface winds with 15-25 kmph speed are very likely over the plains of northwest India during next three days.

“Gradual fall in minimum temperatures by 3-4 degree Celsius very likely over most parts of northwest India during next 3-4 days and rise by 2-3 degree Celsius during subsequent 2-3 days over the same region. Fall in minimum temperature by 3-5 degree Celsius over most parts of central and east India during next 3-4 days and by 2-3 degree Celsius over west India during next 2-3 days and no significant change thereafter,” the IMD forecast.

The Met Department also confirmed that there will be “no significant change in minimum temperatures over rest parts of the country during next 3-4 days”.

Meanwhile, shallow to moderate fog in isolated pockets is very likely over Telangana, Odisha and sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim on January 11, over Jharkhand on January 11-12 and over northeast India during next 5 days.

Under the influence of the cyclonic circulation over equatorial Indian Ocean and adjoining central parts of South Bay of Bengal up to mid tropospheric levels, fairly widespread to widespread rainfall with moderate thunderstorm and lightning is very likely over Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Lakshadweep during next three days, the IMD said.

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Cities

Delhi gets rains for 3rd day on the trot

On Friday, the mercury plummeted to 1.1 degrees Celsius, the lowest in 15 years, and “very dense” fog lowered visibility to “zero” metres.

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Monsoon Rainfall

New Delhi, Jan 5 : Sporadic rains lashed the national capital for the third consecutive day on Tuesday, even as the minimum temperature rose to 13.2 degrees Celsius, six notches more than normal, the India Meteorological Department said.

The Safdarjung Observatory, which provides representative data for the city, recorded 4.7 mm rainfall between 8:30 am on Monday and 8:30 am on Tuesday.

The weather stations at Palam, Lodhi Road, Ayanagar and Ridge recorded 12 mm and 4.8 mm, 8.9 mm and 6.2 mm rainfall, respectively, during the period.

The minimum temperature rose to 13.2 degrees Celsius as a result of cloud cover.

Clouds trap some of the outgoing infrared radiation and radiate it back downward, warming the ground.

The weather department said Delhi may witness light to moderate rain, and thunderstorms with winds gusting up to 30 kmph during the day. A hailstorm is also predicted in parts of the capital.

The rains, under the influence of a strong Western Disturbance, come on the back of a ‘severe” cold wave that gripped Delhi in the run-up to the New Year.

On Friday, the mercury plummeted to 1.1 degrees Celsius, the lowest in 15 years, and “very dense” fog lowered visibility to “zero” metres.

On Sunday, intense rains, thunder and lightning lashed the city. The Safdarjung Observatory recorded 39.9 mm rainfall between 8:30 am on Saturday and 2:30 pm on Sunday.

The WD is causing widespread snowfall in the hills. Once it withdraws, the mercury will fall again to 4 to 5 degrees Celsius, the official said.

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