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Indian Express

19- December-2023

1. A climate for change

Topic: GS3 – Environment
This topic is not much relevant in the context of Prelims but more for Mains in the context of Climate Change Mitigation and Renewable Energy.
Context:
  • Recent international gatherings, such as COP28 in Dubai, have brought attention to the necessity of a worldwide shift to renewable energy in order to attain net-zero emissions.
  • This call highlights the necessity of tripling renewable energy globally, and it is echoed by the G20’s New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration and the COP leadership.
  • The Nairobi Declaration acknowledges the need for increased cooperation and calls for a five-fold increase in Africa’s potential for renewable energy by 2030.
Energy Access Disparities and Implications:
  • Roughly 675 million people, or 8% of the global population, do not have access to reasonably priced and dependable electricity.
  • Human and economic development is hampered by this energy divide, which also has an impact on equity, transportation, health, education, income production, and general well-being.
  • In the context of accomplishing sustainable development goals, addressing these inequities becomes essential.
Importance of Tripling Renewables:
  • Progress has been made possible by the falling costs of solar photovoltaics (PV), but tripling renewable energy sources is thought to be necessary to stay well below the 2-degree Celsius objective.
  • Many international organisations recommend tripling the amount of money invested in renewable energy, and it may even be necessary to invest five times as much as it does now.
  • This scale is required to make a significant difference and meet the world’s rising energy needs.
Strengthening Partnerships for Transition:
  • It is imperative that governments, the business sector, and multilateral institutions forge stronger collaborations in order to facilitate and maintain the shift to renewable energy.
  • This entails strengthening institutional and regulatory frameworks, promoting technological transfer, and reducing long-term investment risks.
  • To accomplish this transformative movement, a three-pronged agenda is presented, organised and led by multilateral institutions.
Multilateral Institutions’ Role in Risk Mitigation:
  • Multilateral organisations are capable of overcoming obstacles in the way of securing long-term, affordable financing for sustainable energy.
  • Payment guarantees and partial-risk guarantees are examples of mechanisms that have proven useful in projects like the Global Solar Facility of the International Solar Alliance.
  • Through the use of their convening power, these organisations can increase institutional structures, regulatory support, and low-cost financing access to accelerate energy transitions.
Trifecta of Partnerships:
  • To guarantee an inclusive and significant change, cooperation between governments, multilateral organisations, and the private sector is necessary.
  • With these three collaborations, we hope to ensure that no one is left behind and share the workload in tackling the world’s problems.
  • Enhanced cooperation can help with funding, business plans, and joint ventures; multilateral investment funds are essential for technology transfer through programmes like patent pooling.
Historical Lesson for Technology Transition:
  • Collaborative efforts in technology transition groups are suggested, based on historical lessons.
  • These groups which would include specialists, NGOs, the commercial sector, and interested nations would concentrate on releasing frequent updates on the development and adoption of pertinent technology.
  • In order to facilitate successful technology transitions, the pooling of intellectual property rights would improve visibility, utilisation, and universal adoption.
Trust Deficit and Collective Goal:
  • One consequence of the recent failures to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is a lack of confidence in the effectiveness of the international system.
  • Using the capacity of both new and established multilateral organisations, we should aim to steer world communities in the direction of more hopeful paths.
  • Projects such as the African Union’s admission into the G20 and the Bridgetown Initiative are notable instances of how international cooperation is changing.
Way Forward:
  • It is imperative that solutions to examine energy transitions through the lens of energy access be developed as the globe navigates the intricacies of sustainable development.
  • A crucial component of sustainable development may be addressed by giving energy access top priority at COP meetings, which would support larger initiatives to make significant progress towards all SDGs.
  • This fundamental signal has the power to spark revolutionary change on a worldwide level.
PYQ: Discuss the role of international cooperation in addressing climate change. Examine the challenges and opportunities associated with the implementation of global climate agreements. Illustrate your answer with recent examples and suggest measures to enhance the effectiveness of such international efforts. (UPSC CSE (M) GS-3 2019) (250 words/15 m)
Practice Question: Examine the significance of the recent multilateral initiatives, including COP28, in promoting the global transition towards renewable energy and achieving net-zero emissions. (150 words/10 m)

2. NEED, NOT CONCESSION

Topic: GS2 – Social Justice
This topic is not much relevant in the context of Prelims but more for Mains in the context of social issues and gender equality.
Context:
  • The article highlights the gendered perspective and the social dynamics of India while discussing the difficulties that come with reformatory measures for women.
  • It draws attention to the challenges that women encounter in the workplace, the persistent discussions over the introduction of paid menstruation leave, and the preconceptions that are reinforced by the media.
  • The background is centred on the more general problems of gender inequality, prejudices in the workplace, and the need for a more complex and inclusive strategy to address the issues of women in many walks of life.
The Perceived Concession and Advocacy Dilemma:
  • Women’s reform bills frequently face obstacles when they are crafted by legislators who are primarily men; they come out as unduly lenient.
  • This dynamic upholds the idea that women are people who fight for their rights, not just those who benefit from political appeasement.
Perception and Stereotypes:
  • Stereotypical ideas about women are influenced by societal attitudes, which are illustrated via popular culture and film.
  • In a nation where a well-known movie treats menstruation nonchalantly, the prevailing preconceptions highlight how difficult it is to change society’s perceptions of women’s difficulties.
Professional Challenges and Motherhood Bias:
  • Professional settings see prejudice against women because of their parenting decisions, which affects project assignments and promotions.
  • Because of the conflicting demands of being a mother and a professional, women are frequently viewed as underutilised resources in the workplace, which perpetuates gender inequality.
Paid Menstrual Leave Debate:
  • The complex narrative is encapsulated in the discussion surrounding paid menstrual leave.
  • While some support its implementation, others voice worries about possible prejudice, among them Union Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani.
  • To allay these worries, the government’s new menstruation policy chooses work-from-home choices and support leaves.
Normalization of Menstruation:
  • The difficulty of normalising menstruation as a biological function is highlighted by the Supreme Court’s unwillingness to legislate menstrual leave.
  • Ignorance of diseases such as endometriosis or dysmenorrhea adds to a general misperception of health problems pertaining to women.
Corporate Initiatives:
  • Corporate efforts to provide women with flexible work schedules and remote work options sometimes stem from the efficiency shown during COVID lockdowns, rather than from a more sophisticated understanding.
  • Instead than just checking social welfare boxes, the emphasis should be on actually resolving women’s issues.
Gender Disparities in Leadership:
  • There are still gender differences in leadership roles; the proportion of female CEOs in Indian companies is quite low, and their representation in Parliament is also low.
  • The case for maternity or period leave as ways to increase women’s loyalty and productivity is hampered by this lack of representation.
Global Perspectives:
  • Menstrual leave regulations have been instituted in various nations across the world, including Spain, Zambia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Indonesia.
  • But the differences in policies between countries highlight the impact of a male-centric approach to policymaking.
Equity in the Workplace:
  • A nuanced strategy is required as women work for employment equity.
  • Instead of giving women leaves that could be used against them, flexible work schedules and the adoption of laws like flex-hours could promote a more diverse and effective workforce.
Conclusion:
  • Policies that truly promote women’s well-being in the workplace, a shift in cultural beliefs, and a commitment to gender parity in leadership are all necessary to address the difficulties associated with reformatory actions for women.
  • The emphasis should be on creating an inclusive and encouraging work culture rather than just privileges.
PYQ: Is the National Commission for Women able to strategize and tackle the problems that women face at both public and private spheres? Give reasons in support of your answer. (UPSC CSE (M) GS-2 2017) (250 words/15 m)
Practice Question: Examine the societal and institutional challenges faced in normalizing issues related to women’s health, particularly the proposal for menstrual leave. (150 words/10 m)

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