U.S., China ratify Paris climate deal

The move by the world’s two biggest polluters is a major step forward for the 180-nation accord, which sets ambitious goals for capping global warming and funnelling trillions of dollars to poor countries facing climate catastrophe.

Two biggest pollutors

China is responsible for almost a quarter of the world’s emissions, with the U.S. in second place on around 15 per cent, so their participation is crucial.

The Paris pact calls for capping global warming at well below two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and 1.5 C (2.7 F) if possible, compared with pre-industrial levels.

Individual commitments

Under the Paris accord, China has pledged to cut its carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 and increase non-fossil fuel sources in primary energy consumption to about 20 per cent. In its Paris commitment, the U.S. promised to cut its own emissions 26-28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2025.

Giant panda no longer endangered, experts say

The International Union for Conservation of Nature said in a report that the panda is now classified as a “vulnerable” instead of “endangered” species, reflecting its growing numbers in the wild in southern China. It said the wild panda population jumped to 1,864 in 2014 from 1,596 in 2004, the result of work by Chinese agencies to enforce poaching bans and expand forest reserves.

The report warned, however, that although better forest protection has helped increase panda numbers, climate change is predicted to eliminate more than 35 per cent of its natural bamboo habitat in the next 80 years, potentially leading to another decline.

CSCs may assemble LED lamps to boost rural economy:-

Looking at tapping the 2.29 lakh Common Service Centers (CSCs) in the country to boost rural economy, the government plans to enable assembly and manufacturing of LED lights at these centers.

CSCs can be a great system for generating revenues and employment in rural India. Making LEDs is not tough…all these will be bought by Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL),

20 nations for global forum to address excess steel capacity

Major steel producers China, India and Japan along with other G20 nations have called for increased sharing of information as well as more cooperation by forming a global forum to address the issue of excess steel capacity.

The development assumes significance in the backdrop of the problem caused in international markets due to excess steel capacity amidst softening of prices, which eroded sales and profits of firms across countries, especially at a time when the global economy recovery is weak. The forum facilitates increased information sharing and cooperation.

This move also assumes significance as it comes in the backdrop of nations such as the U.S. imposing heavy duties on imports of cheap steel from countries such as China.

The decision was announced by G20 leaders recently. G20 leaders recognised the “structural problems, including excess capacity” in some industries, exacerbated by a weak global economic recovery and depressed market demand that have caused a negative impact on trade and workers.

The leaders also recognised that “subsidies and other types of support from government or government-sponsored institutions” can cause market distortions and contribute to global excess capacity and therefore require attention.

Indian Perspective :-

India, the world’s third largest steel producer, too is facing a spate of cheap imports from China, Japan and Korea.This has hit the sales and profits of domestic steel producers and also impacted their liquidity, which in turn has affected their capacity to repay loans and meet interest payment deadlines having a cascading effect on the number of non performing assets (NPAs) with the banks.

Steel sector in India accounts for the highest number of NPAs with the banks.

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