Who should pay for climate damage?
(GS-III: Environmental Conservation: Climate Finance)
While rich countries such as the US, Japan and Canada pledged $20 billion to wean Indonesia off coal at the G-20 summit in Bali, much more has to be done to address climate change.
At the ongoing COP27 to the UNFCCC in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, countries have agreed to discuss providing financial support to address loss and damage caused by climate change.
Loss and damage refer to developing countries’ demand for an institutional framework to compensate countries affected by climate change for current environmental damage.
Why compensation (rich world financing poor) has been considered?
Historical responsibilities of the developed world: Between 1751-2017, 47% of the CO2 emissions came from the US and the EU-28.
Emissions affecting others disproportionately: For example, a farmer in rural Africa may say that his country has not contributed to emissions in the past, but his agricultural yields are dropping as a result of industrialisation in the US or Russia.
Emissions have helped a few countries: For example, Canada would see a rise in GDP of 0.3% (about $9 billion a year) as warmer climates spur agriculture and labour productivity.
Calamity is fast-approaching: According to the UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report 2022, the world must cut emissions by 45% by 2050 to avoid global catastrophe.
However, there was little evidence of a concerted global effort to keep emissions low enough to keep global warming within the 1.5°C limits at the COP27 summit.
Emissions in India and efforts to reduce them:
According to the Emissions Gap Report 2022, India is among the top 7 emitters (others being China, the EU-27, Indonesia, Brazil, the Russian Federation and the U.S.).
However, in per capita terms, India’s emissions are far lesser (2.4 tCO2e) than others. For example,
For economic development, some GHG emissions are unavoidable. India was responsible for the wording of the agreement on coal in 2021, changing “phase-out” to “phase-down,” which reflects the country’s huge dependence on thermal power.
In addition to pledging to net-zero emissions by 2070, India has committed to generating 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030, lowering GDP emission intensity while increasing forest cover.
Old Pension Scheme vs NPS
Experts see some political parties’ announcements in the run-up to elections to switch to the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) as bad politics and bad economics.
National Pension Scheme (NPS):
The NPS is a voluntary and long-term retirement investment plan administered by the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
It was launched in January 2004 for government employees and it was decided to discontinue defined benefit pensions/OPS for all employees who joined after April 1, 2004.
The Old Pension Scheme:
It was discontinued in 2004, however, it guaranteed life-long income after retirement.
Typically, the insured amount is equal to 50% of the most recently drawn salary
The expenditure incurred on the pension is borne by the government.
National Press Day
India celebrates 16th November as National Press Day every year and the day is observed in honour of the Press Council of India (PCI).
About the National Press Day:
History: The PCI was founded on November 16, 1966, and since then, every year on November 16th, the National Press Day has been held to commemorate the foundation of the council.
Significance of the day:
The freedom of the press is an essential aspect to maintain the independence, and integrity of the press as it is often referred to as the voice of the voiceless, a connecting link between the rulers and those who are ruled.
The day is meant to mark the presence of the free and responsible press in India.
It is responsible for examining the quality of reportage from the Indian media, while also keeping a check on other journalistic activities and is traditionally chaired by a retired Supreme Court Judge.
Digital Shakti 4.0
National Commission for Women together with CyberPeace Foundation and Meta (parent company of Facebook) launched Digital Shakti 4.0 to create safe cyberspace for women and girls, making women digitally skilled
Digital Shakti has been accelerating the digital participation of women and girls by training them to use technology to their advantage and to keep themselves safe online.
The initial phase was launched in 2018.
About The National Commission for Women (NCW):
The National Commission for Women (NCW) is a statutory body (formed in 1992), generally concerned with advising the government on all policy matters affecting women. CyberPeace Foundation (CPF) is an award-winning civil society organization, a think tank of CyberSecurity and policy experts.
Price capping of NLEM drugs
Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, which is responsible for ensuring the pricing cap, has brought 34 new essential medicines (in NLEM) under its pricing regulation.
While the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare revises the National list of Essential medicines (NLEM), the cap on its pricing is decided by NPPA under the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.
Significance of the move:
It will help ensure availability at cheaper rates
The listed drugs are essentially required to be stored in bulk in all the hospitals to ensure their availability.
The list is revised based on the consultation with stakeholders, the cost of the medicines, and their effectiveness.
How are the prices decided?
The ceiling price is determined by calculating the average price to retailers of all generics and branded generics with a market share of more than 1% and then adding a small retailer margin to it.
NPPA ( under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemical and Fertilizers) was set up in 1997 under the Drugs (Prices Control) order, 1995, to fix/revise prices of controlled bulk drugs and ensure their availability.