UPSC MAINS SYLLABUS GS3: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment


  1. Recently, the 28th Conference of Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
  2. COP 28 aims to address the urgent challenges of climate change such as: Reducing Greenhouse gas emissions, adapting to the impacts of climate change, and mobilizing financial resources for climate action.
  3. COP28 plays a crucial role in advancing international cooperation and coordination to tackle the climate crisis and achieve the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement 2015. 
  4. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber has been recently chosen as the new President of COP 28

Paris Agreement on Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA): COP 28 was guided by Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) agreed upon in Paris Agreement:

  1. The GGA is a collective commitment under Article 7.1 of the Paris Agreement aimed at “enhancing the world’s adaptive capacity and reducing vulnerability to climate change.
  2. It was proposed by the African Group of Negotiators (AGN) in 2013 and established in 2015.
  3. GGA serve as a unifying framework that can drive political action and finance for adaptation on the same scale as mitigation.
  4. After years of slow progress, Countries agreed at COP26 in 2021 to establish and launch a 2-year initiative to further define the GGA, called the Glasgow–Sharm el-Sheikh work program (GlaSS).
  5. GGA sets following Targets for countries:
  6. By 2030, all parties shall conduct assessments of climate hazards, climate change impacts and exposure to risks and vulnerabilities.
  7. Parties shall use these assessments to inform their formulation of National adaptation plans & policies.
  8. By 2027, all the Parties have to establish multi hazard Early warning systems (EWS) for risk reduction and systematic observation to support improved climate related information and services. 

NEED for Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA):

  1. As per World Resources Institute (WRI) a staggering 3.6 billion people — nearly half of the global population — are currently highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, from droughts, floods and storms to heat stress and food insecurity & this number will only continue to rise as long as global temperatures keep climbing. 
  2. As per State of Global Climate Report 2022 by WMO: Global temperature is 1.2° C above 1850-1900 average and 2023-27 will be the warmest years on record despite “Triple Dip” La Nina. 
  3. As per Inter-Governmental Panel for Climate Change’s (IPCC) “Synthesis Report 2023“: Humanity will miss the Paris Agreement target of limiting global warming to 1.5° C above from Pre-Industrial levels.

ISSUES being faced to implement Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA):

  1. Major concern is that the best mitigation efforts enshrined in the Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) of the Parties to the Paris Agreement are not in sight of restricting global average temperature below 1.5° C as compared to pre-industrial levels. 
  2. They would rather nudge the world towards the 2.8° C point by the end of the century (2100).
  3. Difficulty in Linking of non-climatic “domino” effects such as: Rapid Urbanization, unsustainable consumption of resources, demographic shifts, rising economic inequalities among Global north & south and Double burden on Developing Countries (Large funds required for mitigation and adaptation & ensuring economic growth at same time to bring people out of poverty).  
  4. Non-adherence of Common but Differentiated Responsibility (CBDR) by developed countries.
  5. Lethargic improvement in carbon removal technologies and R & D on mitigation
  6. Russia-Ukraine war led supply chain disruptions has led to increasing use of fossil fuel by developed countries: For example, Germany has resorted to coal power plants after closure of Nord Stream pipeline with Russia.
  7. Issue of “Climate change denial”: Many countries has questioned the methodology of assessment and “Real” impact in impending future.


  1. Loss and Damage (L&D) Fund: It will be hosted by the World Bank for 4 years (2023-27), aligning with UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement.
    1. All developing countries are eligible, and contributions are voluntary, with a specific percentage earmarked for Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States.
  2. Global Stocktake: As per the Paris Agreement 2015, it was decided that countries would assess their progress for the first time in 2023 and, then, every 5 years.  Thus released Global Stocktake (GST) Report adopted 8 steps to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C including:
    1. Tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030 to at least 11,000 GW by 2030
    2. Collectively double the global energy efficiency improvements from around 2% to over 4% every year until 2030.
    3. Phase-down of unabated coal power
    4. Transitioning away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in orderly and equitable manner, so as to achieve Net zero by 2050
    5. Accelerating Zero and low emissions technologies e.g., Nuclear, CCUS, Hydrogen
    6. Reducing non-CO2 emissions e.g., methane emissions globally by 2030
    7. Emissions reductions from road transport
    8. Phasing out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies
      The text maintains continuity with COP26, balancing global aspirations while recognizing diverse energy needs
  3. Global Cooling Pledge: 66 national signatories committed to a 68% reduction in cooling-related emissions by 2050
  4. Climate Finance: UNCTAD estimates that developed nations owe developing countries $500 billion in 2025 under the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) for climate finance, confirmed in the Paris Agreement.
    1. The goal, starting at $100 billion annually, allocates $250 billion for mitigation, $100 billion for adaptation, and $150 billion for loss and damage.
    2. With the current $100 billion goal unmet, developing countries face debt distress.
  5. Triple Nuclear Energy: COP 28 calls to triple global nuclear energy capacity by 2050
  6. Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA): PPCA, a coalition involving governments, businesses, and organizations, focuses on transitioning from unabated coal power to clean energy.
    1. NOTE: India is not part of PPCA as it has not committed to phasing out of coal.
    2. India highlights the necessity of using coal for developmental needs and emphasizes adherence to nationally determined contributions (NDCs).
  7. Coalition for High Ambition Multilevel Partnership (CHAMP): 65 national governments signed commitments for enhanced cooperation with subnational governments in climate strategies.
  8. Buildings Breakthrough Initiative: The goal of the Buildings Breakthrough Initiative is to make near-zero emissions and resilient buildings the new normal by 2030.
    1. The initiative is co-led by France and the Kingdom of Morocco, coordinated under the umbrella of UNEP, and hosted by the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (Global ABC)


  1. Global River Cities Alliance (GRCA): It was launched at COP 28, led by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) under the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Government of India.
    1. The GRCA is a unique alliance covering 275+ global river-cities in 11 countries.
    2. Partner countries include Egypt, Netherlands, Denmark, Ghana, Australia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Japan and river-cities of The Hague (Den Haag) from the Netherlands, Adelaide from Australia, and Szolnok of Hungary.
    3. GRCA highlights India’s role in sustainable river-centric development and climate resilience.
    4. The GRCA platform will facilitate knowledge exchange, river-city twinning, and dissemination of best practices.
  2. Green Credit Initiative:
    1. India launched the Green Credit Initiative at COP28, to create a participatory global platform for exchange of innovative environmental programs and instruments.
    2. There are two main priorities of the initiative are water conservation and afforestation.
    3. The main purpose of this initiative is to boost voluntary environmental activities like tree plantation, water conservation, sustainable agriculture, and waste management by incentivizing it for big corporations and private companies, bringing about a change in the climate issues faced by the country.


Q1: Glasgow–Sharm el-Sheikh work program (GlaSS) recently seen in the news is associated with which of the following:

  1. Phasing down of unabated coal
  2. Defining Global goal on Climate Adaptation
  3. Achieving Climate Neutrality by 2070
  4. Securing Climate Finance from Developed Countries 


Q2: Consider the following statements regarding Climatic Phenomenon “La Nina” often seen in the news: 

  1. La Nina events represent periods of above average Sea surface temperatures across the East-central Equatorial Pacific
  2. La Nina leads to colder winters in South & western Europe causing snowfall in the Mediterranean region
  3. La Nina is characterized by lower than normal air pressure over the Western Pacific
  4. La Nina usually brings in colder than normal winters in India 

Which of the above statements is Correct? 

a. 1,2 and 3

b. 1 and 4 only

c. 2 and 3 only

d. 2,3 and 4 



LA NINA: As per State of Global Climate Report 2022 by WMO: Global temperature is 1.2° C above 1850-1900 average and 2023-27 will be the warmest years on record despite “Triple Dip” La Nina. La Nina means the Little Girl in Spanish meaning  “a cold event.”

  1. La Nina events represent periods of below-average Sea surface temperatures (SST) across the east-central Equatorial Pacific: indicated by SST decreased by more than 0.9℉ for at least five successive three-month seasons.
  2. La Nina event is observed when the water temperature in the Eastern Pacific gets comparatively colder than normal, as a consequence of which, there is a strong high pressure over the eastern equatorial Pacific: This results in decreased cloud production and rainfall in that region.
  3. Thus Drier-than-normal conditions are observed along the West coast of tropical South America, the Gulf Coast of the United States, and the pampas region of southern South America.
  4. However in Western Pacific: There exists a low-pressure zone contributing to increased rainfall



  1. Europe: In Europe, La Nina tends to lead to milder winters in Northern Europe (especially UK) and colder winters in southern/western Europe leading to snow in the Mediterranean region.
  2. North America: Stronger winds along the equatorial region, especially in the Pacific, provide favorable conditions for hurricanes in the Caribbean and central Atlantic area.
  3. South America: La Nina causes drought in the South American countries of Peru and Ecuador.However, It usually has a positive impact on the fishing industry of western South America.
  4. Western Pacific: In the western Pacific, La Nina increases the potential for cyclone landfall &  also leads to heavy floods in Australia.



    1. In the ‘La Nina year’, rainfall associated with the summer monsoon in Southeast Asia tends to be greater than normal, especially in northwest India and Bangladesh: This generally benefits the Indian economy, which depends on the monsoon for agriculture and industry.
    2. It usually brings in colder than normal winters in India.
    3. La Nina influences the Indian subcontinent by piping in cold air from Siberia and South China, which interacts with the tropical heating to produce a north-south low-pressure system.

Q3: 28th Conference of Parties of UNFCCC held in Dubai, UAE released Global Stocktake Report suggesting adoption of 8 steps to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C. Which of the following steps does not form part of Global Stocktake 2023?

A. Tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030 to at least 11,000 GW by 2030

B. Phasing out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies

C. Phasing out of fossil fuel such as Coal by 2050

D. Doubling global energy efficiency improvements to 4% every single year by 2030


No Comments

Post A Comment