India is the _______biggest emitter of greenhouse gases.
WHY IN NEWS?
On November 1, 2021, at COP26 climate summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced 2070 as the India’s target to reach net zero carbon emissions.
- India’s announcement came as a surprise to delegates in Glasgow, as India had rejected calls to announce such target recently.
- US, UK & Japan have net zero target by 2050; EU by 2060; Saudi Arabia, China & Russia by 2070.
What is net-zero target?
A net-zero target is defined as date by which a country will only emit carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases that can be absorbed by forests, soil, crops, and developing technologies such as carbon capture technology.
Which are the top Greenhouse Gas Emitters?
China, United States, India and Russia are the top greenhouse gas emitters. India is the third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases and is among the countries which are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. As per Global Climate Risk Index 2021, India is the seventh-most affected nation by extreme weather events.
India’s goal towards net-zero emissions
India’s goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2070 is far-fetched. Thus, to support this goal, four other aggressive pledges were made. These targets are:
- 50% of power will come from renewables by 2030.
- 500 GW of installed renewable energy capacity will be reached by 2030.
- Reduction in carbon intensity by 45% by 2030.
- Reduction in projected total carbon emissions by 1 billion tonnes by 2030.
- India further seeks to reduce its projected total carbon emissions by 1 billion tonnes by the end of the decade.
The Dadanite and Lihyanite civilisations were associated with which region?
WHY IN NEWS?
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is set to excavate ‘five kingdoms’ related to Dadanite and Lihyanite civilisations.
- Excavation will be done by a team of French and Saudi Archaeologists.
- They will excavate five nearby sites related to Dadanite and Lihyanite civilisations. Both of the civilisations were important regional powers, some 2000 years ago.
- Kingdoms were spanning roughly 900 years until 100 CE. They controlled vital trade routes however, little is known about them.
In the year 2019, Saudi Arabia opened a flagship tourist destination called Al Ula. It is a 2000-year-old city that have been carved into rocks by the Nabateans. It is known for majestic tombs of Madain Saleh. They were pre-Islamic Arab people and they built Petra in Jordan.
About Madain Saleh
Madain Saleh is also called as Hegra. It is an archaeological site situated in the area of Al-‘Ula in the Medina Province of Hejaz, Saudi Arabia. Majority of the remains belong to Nabataean Kingdom that existed during 1st century AD. This site is the southernmost settlement of Saudi Arabia. It is the second largest city after Petra. On this site, traces of Lihyanite and Roman occupation can also be found.
Is the site in UNESCO list?
UNESCO proclaimed Mada’in Saleh as a site of patrimony in the year 2008. Thus, this site is the first World Heritage Site of Saudi Arabia. It was selected for its well-preserved remains from late antiquity, like 131 monumental rock-cut tombs, with their ornamented facades.
Who built Mada’in Salih?
Extensive settlement of the Madain Saleh took place during the 1st century AD, after it came under the rule of the Nabatean king Aretas IV Philopatris (Al-Harith IV). He made Mada’in Saleh the second capital of Saudi Arabia, after Petra.
Consider the following statements about Ganges river Dolphin: 1. Its scientific name is Platanista gangetica gangetica. 2. It can only live in freshwater and is essentially blind 3. It is an indicator species. Which of the above statements are correct?
WHY IN NEWS?
Recently, the Ministry of Jal Shakti released a guide for the safe rescue and release of stranded Ganges River Dolphins.
- The document has been prepared by the Turtle Survival Alliance and the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Department (EFCCD) of the Uttar Pradesh Government.
- It was recognised as the National Aquatic Animal in 2009, by the Government of India.
- Scientific Name:Platanista gangetica gangetica.
- Discovery: It was officially discovered in 1801.
- Habitat: They live in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh.
- The Ganges river dolphin can only live in freshwater and is essentially blind.
- They hunt by emitting ultrasonic sounds, which bounces off of fish and other prey, enabling them to “see” an image in their mind. They are also called ‘susu’.
- Population: The global population of the species is estimated at 4,000, and nearly 80% found in the Indian subcontinent.
- It is a reliable indicator of the health of the entire river ecosystem.
- Bycatch: These dolphins and people both favor areas of the river where fish are plentiful and the water current is slower. This has led to fewer fish for people and more dolphins dying as a result of accidentally being caught in fishing nets, also known as bycatch.
- Pollution: Industrial, agricultural, and human pollution is another serious cause of habitat degradation.
- Dams: Construction of dams and other irrigation-related projects make them susceptible to inbreeding and more vulnerable to other threats because they cannot move to new areas.
- Dolphins below a dam are threatened by heavy pollution, increased fishing activities and vessel traffic. They also have less food because dams disturb the migration, breeding cycles and habitat of fish and other prey.
- Indian Wildlife (Protection), Act 1972: Schedule I.
- International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN): Endangered.
- Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES): Appendix I (most endangered).
- Convention on Migratory Species (CMS): Appendix II (migratory species that need conservation and management or would significantly benefit from international co-operation).
- Project Dolphin: The Prime Minister announced the government’s plan to launch a Project Dolphin in his Independence Day Speech 2020. It is on the lines of Project Tiger, which has helped increase the tiger population.
- Dolphin Sanctuary: Vikramshila Ganges Dolphin Sanctuary has been established in Bihar.
- National Ganga River Dolphin Day: The National Mission for Clean Ganga celebrates 5thOctober as National Ganga River Dolphin Day.
- Conservation Plan: The Conservation Action Plan for the Ganges River Dolphin 2010-2020, which “identified threats to Gangetic Dolphins and impact of river traffic, irrigation canals and depletion of prey-base on Dolphins populations”.
The term OSOWOG in context with renewable energy stands for-
WHY IN NEWS?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for ‘One Sun, One World, One Grid’ on November 2, 2021 for improving the viability of solar power.
- On the occasion, he also announced that India’s space agency, ISRO will provide a calculator to the world soon, that can measure solar energy potential of any region.
- ‘One Sun, One World, One Grid’ (OSOWOG) solution will be used to tackle the challenge of solar power.
- Earth’s atmosphere receives enough sunlight in one hour, that can be used to power the electricity need of every human on earth for a year.
- However, solar energy is only available during the day. Another challenge is that it is dependent on weather conditions.
This project is about setting a ‘trans-national electricity grid to supply solar power across the world. The vision behind OSOWOG is ‘The Sun Never Sets’. It is a constant at some geographical location, across the globe, at any given point of time. This is the most ambitious schemes undertaken by India and is significant in terms economic benefits. It has been taken up under the technical assistance program of the World Bank. This plan will also leverage the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
Three Phases of the OSOWOG
- First Phase: It will involve interconnectivity within the Asian continent.
- Second Phase: Africa will be added.
- Third Phase: It will involve global interconnection.
Significance of OSOWOG
- OSOWOG project will help all the participating countries in attracting investments in renewable energy sources. It will also help in utilizing finances, skills and technology.
- It will lead to lesser project costs, higher efficiencies and increased asset utilization across all the participating entities.
- Economic benefits arising out of the project will result into poverty alleviation. It will also support in mitigating water & sanitation, food and other socio-economic challenges.
Project-15B defence project is associated with construction of-
WHY IN NEWS?
Recently, the first ship of the four Project-15B state-of-the-art stealth guided missile destroyers i.e. ‘Y 12704 (Visakhapatnam)’, was delivered to the Navy.
- The ship is constructed using indigenous steel DMR 249A and is amongst the largest destroyers constructed in India.
India’s Destroyer Construction Programme:
- India’s indigenous Destroyer construction programme commenced in the late 1990s with the three Delhi class (P-15 class) warships and this was followed by three Kolkata class (P-15A) destroyers commissioned a decade later.
- Presently, under the P-15B (Visakhapatnam Class), a total of four warships are planned (Visakhapatnam, Mormugao, Imphal, Surat).
- The Destroyers come next only to an Aircraft Carrier (INS Vikramaditya) in terms of their reach and endurance.
- Four Guided missile Destroyers of Project 15B (P 15B) are under construction at M/s Mazagaon Dock Shipbuilders Limited, Mumbai. The contract for construction of these four ships was signed in 2011.
- These ships are amongst the most technologically advanced Guided Missile Destroyers of the world, with state-of-the-art weapon/sensor package, advanced stealth features and a high degree of automation.
Features of the P-15B Ships:
- These ships are equipped with BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and long-range Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAM).
- The ship has several indigenous weapons systems like medium range Surface-to-Air Missile (SAMs), indigenous torpedo tube launchers, anti-submarine indigenous rocket launchers and 76-mm super rapid gun mount.
Other Three Ships of Project 15B:
- The second ship of P15B, Mormugao was launched in 2016, and is being readied for harbour trials.
- The third ship (Imphal) was launched in 2019, and is at an advanced stage of outfitting.
- The fourth ship (Surat) is under block erection and will be launched within this current financial year (2022) .
Role of P-15B:
- The Indian Navy’s responsibilities to safeguard a large coastline of 7516 Kms and about 1100 offshore islands along with 2.01 million sq km Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) have been enhanced in the present geopolitical scenario.
- Destroyers like the P-15B class shall play an important role in the larger oceans of the Indo-Pacific, making the Indian Navy a potent force.
- The guided missile Destroyers are deployed for various responsibilities like escort duties with the Carrier Battle Group to protect the Naval fleet against any air, surface and underwater threats.
Other Recent Projects:
- Project 75 (I): It envisages indigenous construction of submarines equipped with the state-of-the-art Air Independent Propulsion system at an estimated cost of Rs. 43,000 crore.
- Project 75: It is a programme by the Indian Navy that entails building six Scorpene-Class attack submarines. The programme has been undertaken with transfer of technology from French company Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS) at the Mazagon Dock Limited (MDL).
The Global Methane Pledge was announced with the aim of reducing methane emissions by _____per cent by the year ____, as compared to 2020 levels.
WHY IN NEWS?
The Global Methane Pledge was launched on November 2, 2021 at the ongoing UN COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.
- As of now, more than 90 countries have signed this pledge.
- Global Methane Pledge is an effort led by the United States and the European Union, jointly.
- This pledge is significant because Methane is the second-most abundant greenhouse gas present in the atmosphere.
About Global Methane Pledge
The Global Methane Pledge was first announced in September 2021 by the US and EU. It is an agreement to reduce global methane emissions. This pledge was announced with the aim of reducing methane emissions by 30 per cent by the year 2030, as compared to 2020 levels.
How Methane contributes to global temperature?
As per Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, methane accounts for around half of the 1.0 degrees Celsius net increase in global average temperature as compared to pre-industrial era. As per UN, 25 percent of the warming is because of methane.
Methane is a greenhouse gas and a component of natural gas. Its presence in the atmosphere increases the temperature on Earth. Methane comes from human as well as natural sources. Human sources of methane comprise of oil & natural gas systems, landfills, coal mining, agricultural activities, wastewater treatment, and industrial processes. Human sources accounts for 60 percent of the global methane emissions, among which Oil & gas sectors are the largest contributor.