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IAS Exam: IAS Prelims Current Affairs: UN Climate Summits Chronology

Jan 13, 2016 13:09 IST

    For the aspirants of Civil Services, the topic of climate change and the respective developments to correct the changing aspects of global climate remained a difficult nut to crack. As per the pattern followed by UPSC in asking questions in General Studies section of UPSC Prelims Exam, such topics are in prime focus in recent year exams. So, the aspirants have to study these topics properly and the proper understanding of such topics will also be quite helpful for IAS Mains Exam preparation.

    Here, we have compiles few questions on some of the specific United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change which are very important in the point view of IAS Prelims Exam 2016:

    1. Which of the following statements is incorrect about Paris Climate Change Conference?

    A. It was twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) and the eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP)

    B. The decision has been taken to reaffirm the goal of limiting global temperature increase well below 2 degrees Celsius, while urging efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees;

    C. Establish binding commitments by all parties to make “nationally determined contributions” (NDCs), and to pursue domestic measures aimed at achieving them.

    D. Paris Climate Change Conference was held in Paris, France from 30 November to 12 December 2014.

    Ans. D

    Explanation: Paris Climate Change Conference was held in Paris, France from 30 November to 12 December 2015. Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reached a landmark agreement on December 12 in Paris, charting a fundamentally new course in the two-decade-old global climate effort.

    2. Which of the following statements is correct about Paris Climate Change Conference?


    A. The Paris Agreement for the first time brings all nations into a common cause based on their historic, current and future responsibilities.

    B. The universal agreement’s main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 1 degree Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 0.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

    C. The 0.5 degree Celsius limit is a significantly safer defence line against the worst impacts of a changing climate.

    D. To reach these ambitious and important goals, appropriate financial flows will be put in place, thus making stronger action by developed countries and the most stable possible, in line with their own national objectives.

    Ans. A

    Explanation: The universal agreement’s main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The 1.5 degree Celsius limit is a significantly safer defence line against the worst impacts of a changing climate. Additionally, the agreement aims to strengthen the ability to deal with the impacts of climate change. To reach these ambitious and important goals, appropriate financial flows will be put in place, thus making stronger action by developing countries and the most vulnerable possible, in line with their own national objectives.

    3. Considered the following statements regarding Earth Summit 1992:

    I. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, was a major United Nations conference held in Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992.

    II. One of the issues addressed in that summit was systematic scrutiny of patterns of production — particularly the production of toxic components, such as lead in gasoline, or poisonous waste including radioactive chemicals.

    III. An important achievement of the summit was an agreement on the Climate Change Convention which in turn led to the Kyoto Protocol.

    IV. Another agreement was to "not to carry out any activities on the lands of indigenous peoples that would cause environmental degradation or that would be culturally inappropriate".

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?

    A. I only

    B. I and II

    C. I, II and III

    D. All of the above

    Ans. D

    Explanation: The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit , Rio Summit, Rio Conference, and Earth Summit, was a major United Nations conference held in Rio de Janeiro from 3 to 14 June 1992.

    4. Considered the following statements regarding Earth Summit 1992:

    I. Principle theme of the summit was Global Poverty and sustainable economies of the world.

    II. Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the Statement of Forest Principles were the resulting documents.

    III. This was the first summit of its kind.

    IV. 172 governments participated, with 108 sending their heads of state or government for the summit.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?

    A. I and II

    B. II, III and IV

    C. I, II and III

    D. All of the above

    Ans. B

    Explanation: The previous summit was UN Conference on the Human Environment 1972 which was held at Stockholm, Sweden before the summit of Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit of 1992.

    5. Considered the following statements regarding  the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment

    I. Stockholm Conference, 1972 was decided by the UNDP at the initiative of the Government of Sweden to host it.

    II. Sweden first suggested to ECOSOC in 1968 the idea of having a UN conference to focus on human interactions with the environment.

    III. The meeting agreed upon a Declaration containing 26 principles concerning the environment and development; an Action Plan with 109 recommendations, and a Resolution.

    IV. One of the Principles of the Stockholm Declaration was-Human rights must be asserted, apartheid and colonialism condemned.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?

    A. I and II

    B. I, II and II

    C. II, III and IV

    D. All of the above

    Ans. D

    Explanation: The idea of having a UN conference to focus on human interactions with the environment was suggested by Sweden to ECOSOC in 1968. ECOSOC passed resolution 1346 supporting the idea. General Assembly Resolution 2398 in 1969 decided to convene a conference in 1972 and mandated a set of reports from the UN secretary-general suggesting that the conference focus on "stimulating and providing guidelines for action by national government and international organizations" facing environmental issues.

    6. Which of the following statements regarding United Nations Climate Change Conference, 2009 is incorrect?

    A. The 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly known as the Copenhagen Summit.

    B. Principle theme of the summit was Global Poverty and sustainable economies of the world.

    C. The conference included the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 5th Meeting of the Parties (MOP 5) to the Kyoto Protocol.

    D. According to the Bali Road Map, a framework for climate change mitigation beyond 2012 was to be agreed there.

    Ans. B

    Explanation: The Copenhagen Climate Change Conference raised climate change policy to the highest political level. Close to 115 world leaders attended the high-level segment, making it one of the largest gatherings of world leaders ever outside UN headquarters in New York. More than 40,000 people, representing governments, nongovernmental organizations, intergovernmental organizations, faith-based organizations, media and UN agencies applied for accreditation.

    7. Which of the following statements is incorrect about Kyoto Protocol?

    A. The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Development Programme on Climate Change, which commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets.

    B. The detailed rules for the implementation of the Protocol were adopted at COP 7 in Marrakesh, Morocco, in 2001, and are referred to as the "Marrakesh Accords." Its first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012.

    C. The detailed rules for the implementation of the Protocol were adopted at COP 7 in Marrakesh, Morocco, in 2001, and are referred to as the "Marrakesh Accords." Its first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012.

    D. The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets.

    Ans. A

    Explanation: The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005. The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty, which extends the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that commits State Parties to reduce greenhouse gases emissions, based on the premise that (a) global warming exists and (b) man-made CO2 emissions have caused it.

    8. Which of the following is incorrect about the background of UNFCCC?

    A. In 1992, countries joined an international treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to cooperatively consider what they could do to limit average global temperature increases and the resulting climate change, and to cope with whatever impacts were, by then, inevitable.

    B. The Kyoto Protocol could not legally bind developed countries to emission reduction targets.

    C. The Protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. The second commitment period began on 1 January 2013 and will end in 2020.

    D. The UNFCCC secretariat supports all institutions involved in the international climate change negotiations, particularly the COP, CMP, the subsidiary bodies (which advise the COP/CMP), and the COP/CMP Bureau (which deals mainly with procedural and organizational issues arising from the COP/CMP and also has technical functions).

    Ans. B

    Explanation: The Kyoto Protocol legally binds developed countries to emission reduction targets. The Protocol’s first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012. The second commitment period began on 1 January 2013 and will end in 2020.

    9. Consider the following objectives of Cancun Agreement of the United Nations Climate Change Conference:

    I. establish clear objectives for reducing human-generated greenhouse gas emissions over time to keep the global average temperature rise below two degrees

    II. encourage the participation of all countries in reducing these emissions, in accordance with each country’s different responsibilities and capabilities to do so

    III. ensure the international transparency of the actions which are taken by countries and ensure that global progress towards the long-term goal is reviewed in a timely way

    IV. mobilize the development and transfer of clean technology to boost efforts to address climate change, getting it to the right place at the right time and for the best effect

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are incorrect?

    A. I and II

    B. I, II and II

    C. II, III and IV

    D. All of the above

    Ans. D

    Explanation: The agreements, reached on December 11 in Cancun, Mexico, at the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference represent key steps forward in capturing plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to help developing nations protect themselves from climate impacts and build their own sustainable futures.

    10. Which of the following is incorrect?

    A. The ultimate decision-making body of the Convention is the Conference of the Parties (COP), which meets after every 5 years to review the implementation of the Convention.

    B. The COP adopts COP decisions and resolutions, published in reports of the COP. Successive decisions taken by the COP make up a detailed set of rules for practical and effective implementation of the Convention.

    C. The Kyoto Protocol supplements and strengthens the Convention and provides a further framework for action.

    D. The Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP) adopts CMP decisions and resolutions on the implementation of the provisions of the Kyoto Protocol, published in reports of the CMP.

    Ans. A

    Explanation: The ultimate decision-making body of the Convention is the Conference of the Parties (COP), which meets every year to review the implementation of the Convention.

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