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Indian Express

12- December-2023

1) A conjuring trick

Context:

  • The recent ruling by the Supreme Court upholding the repeal of Article 370 is being celebrated as a major legal win for the policies of the Narendra Modi administration on Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The judgment’s assessment, the author admits, will have a big impact on how political history plays out.

Potential Interpretations:

  • The article raises important concerns about how the ruling may affect Jammu and Kashmir’s political past.
  • The Modi government’s action is closely examined: Does it signify a complete and ultimate integration into India’s constitutional framework, or is it just another instance of betrayal of the region?
  • The author questions trust in the Supreme Court’s authority and muses over whether the ruling creates risky precedents for federalism.

Historical Context and Tragic Paradox:

  • The story explores the sad dichotomy that has defined the history of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Treaties, laws, legality, promises, and procedures may all be contentious, but the reality of the region has frequently made these formalities meaningless.
  • The author reflects on the complicated circumstances that have existed since 1947 and presents a picture of betrayal, double-dealing, misery, and violence.

Abrogation of Article 370: Changing Facts and Court’s Assertion:

  • The author emphasises the historical ambiguity and strong political backing for the decision, while acknowledging the irrevocable character of Article 370’s abrogation.
  • The court’s decision is criticised, with the claim that Article 370 was intended to be temporary and that the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly’s approval was not required.
  • The author recognises the shifting reality on the ground while highlighting the court’s devious manoeuvre to uphold constitutional standards.

Constitutional Orders and Potential Unconstitutionality:

  • The focus of the analysis shifts to Constitutional Orders 272 and 273, which were crucial in revoking Article 370.
  • Although the court’s assurance that CO272 had the impact of altering Article 370 hinders possible backdoor revisions, it casts doubt on the validity and integrity of the exercise as a whole.

Reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir: A New Precedent:

  • The author avoids discussing the constitutionality of changing a state’s status and instead criticises the way the court handled the reorganisation of Jammu and Kashmir into a Union Territory.
  • Examined is the vague pledge to reinstate statehood at an ambiguous later time, which creates a legal precedent that might sanction actions that might be unconstitutional.

Justice Kaul’s Call for Truth and Reconciliation:

  • In acknowledging Justice Kaul’s historic proposal for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the author highlights the necessity of holding both state and non-state actors accountable for the pain they have caused.
  • It is regretted that there isn’t a political force that can promote peace, and the repeal of Article 370 is perceived as an effort to deal with the intricacies of the past.

Conclusion:

  • An analysis of how Indian politics are evolving and the Supreme Court’s assistance in the government’s new strategy for Kashmir is included in the article’s conclusion.
  • The court’s performance is considered strange, raising doubts about its commitment to defending the Indian Constitution even as it acknowledges the necessity for political reconciliation.

2) ALL THAT CAN BE SAVED

Context:

  • The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has released its 14th Emissions Gap Report (2023), which is a crucial reference point for assessing international efforts to combat climate change.
  • The research offers insights into the discrepancy between projected emission levels through mitigation and adaptation measures and the levels required to prevent climate shocks as nations convened for the Committee of the Parties (COP28) summit in Dubai.

Understanding the Emission Gap:

  • The emission gap—the difference between expected emission levels and those needed to keep the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100 is highlighted as being of great importance in the report.
  • The report, which was released right before the COP28 conference, provides context for talks on climate action.

Greenhouse Gas Dynamics:

  • The article emphasises the increasing amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from energy-related activities, industry, agriculture, land use, and waste, while also highlighting the main causes of the emission gap.
  • GHGs include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, and synthetic gases, with CO2 having the largest share.
  • The fact that CO2’s effects last for more than a century highlights how much of an impact it has on global warming.

Climate Change Impacts:

  • The narrative highlights the rising global average temperature and links it to significant greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The negative consequences, which include storms, cyclones, droughts, and floods, highlight how urgently comprehensive climate action is needed.

Major Contributors to GHG Emissions:

  • The majority of CO2 emissions are caused by burning fossil fuels for transportation, manufacturing, building construction, and power generation, according to the report’s analysis of the sources of GHG emissions.
  • For the electricity generating sector, switching to renewable energy sources especially solar and wind is suggested, while for the transportation sector, switching to electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles is necessary.

Challenges in Moving Away from Fossil Fuels:

  • Because renewable energy cannot provide the high-intensity heat requirements, there are considerable obstacles in the path of the shift away from fossil fuels, especially in the industrial sector.
  • Developing nations are burdened by this capital-intensive transition, which calls for technological and financial assistance from the industrialised world.

Principle of “Polluter Pays”:

  • In support of the “polluter pays” theory, the article calls for wealthy nations which account for the bulk of carbon footprints to provide funding for climate adaptation and mitigation initiatives.
  • The necessity for financial transfers is shown by cumulative CO2 emissions statistics that highlight the disproportionate responsibilities of the US, EU, China, and India.

Resource Transfer and Climate Finance:

  • Although there have been talks about giving poor nations $100 billion year, the analysis casts doubt on the effectiveness of the current transfers and points out a significant discrepancy between commitments and actual payments.
  • These transfers are insufficient, which raises questions about our ability to adequately fund climate measures.

Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs):

  • According to the UNEP research, which analyses the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that each country provided, there might be a temperature increase of 2.5 to 2.9 degrees Celsius by the end of the century based on present commitments.
  • The need for more climate action is highlighted by these projections.

COP28 Developments:

  • Crucial choices about the global stock take report, which will determine the course of climate change action, are still waiting as COP28 draws to a close.
  • The implications of the report for the phase-out of fossil fuels and climate fairness are crucial to the current talks.
  • Although there has been some work on the loss and damage fund, it is still unclear what will happen to the worldwide stock take report.

Conclusion:

  • The urgent need for increased international efforts to close the gap between present emission levels and those necessary for climatic stability is highlighted in the UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report.
  • The results of COP28 will have a big impact on how the world responds to climate change and will highlight how urgent it is to take revolutionary steps and find just solutions.

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