World
Climate math and forgotten sums
A brilliant and amusing mathematician of our times, Joseph Keller, was known for his playful indulgence in mathematical explanations of everyday puzzling facts. For example, he mathematically enlightened why the ponytail of female jogger swings from side to side and not in any other way.
 
Joseph Keller died recently but he probably would have stumbled over the most significant numerical question of the recent times: Why the entry into force of the Paris Climate Agreement has embedded the cryptic numerical condition of at least "55 countries accounting for 55 per cent of the global emissions ratifying the agreement".
 
There indeed is no pure mathematical logic to this prerequisite. This condition is transplanted into the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015 from the 18-year-old Kyoto Protocol.
 
The Kyoto Protocol stated that it would enter into force on the 90th day after the date on which not less than 55 Parties to the Convention, incorporating Parties included in annexure I (developed nations) which accounted for at least 55 per cent of the total carbon dioxide emissions for 1990 of the developed countries.
 
During the transplantation of this condition into the Paris Climate Agreement, the countries made historic welcome and even fudgy improvements.
 
Historic, because the voluntary commitments made for GHG reductions -- called Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDCs) -- by each and every country are now global in nature, without distinction between developed or industrialized and developing countries.
 
Welcome, because the time between fulfilling the 55-55 conditions globally and the entry into force of the agreement is reduced from 90 days to 30 days -- probably a baby step to show urgency.
 
Fudgy, because while Kyoto Protocol clearly spelled out 1990 as the baseline for measuring the percentage of carbon dioxide emissions of the country as part of 55 per cent of GHG emissions, the Paris Agreement will use the latest GHG emissions communicated by the country to the Secretariat of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
 
Interestingly the year of latest communication of GHGs among 195 countries varied to a great degree. For 16 countries it is 1994, for 38 countries it is 2013 and for the rest it is in between. India's latest communication is for 2000, the USA's for 2013 and China's for 2005. The base line of important condition for entry into force is, therefore, embedded into the assorted stack of apples, oranges and even mangoes.
 
The fudgy logic, however, did not deter the determination of the countries to get the Paris Agreement operational with amazingly good speed. While the Kyoto Protocol entered into force nearly 86 months after its scripture was agreed to in December 1997, it is now evident that the Paris Agreement would enter into force in less than 86 weeks from December 2015. The time period provided in the agreement till 2020 for the entry into force may now prove to be redundant.
 
So, how does this 55-55 math add up from now on?
 
As of September 23, 2016, 61 countries representing nearly 48 per cent of GHG emissions have ratified the Paris Agreement, including China (20.09 per cent), the US (17.89 per cent) and Brazil (2.48 per cent). The rest are mainly small countries.
 
India's 4.1 per cent of global GHG emissions were added on October 2 when the total GHG emissions from 62 countries that ratified would be 52.1 per cent, just 2.9 per cent short for meeting the full requirement for entry into force. Ratification by Russia (7.53 per cent) or Japan (3.79 per cent) would be sufficient to meet the finish line of 55 per cent. But both the countries have declared that they are not in a hurry to do it.
 
That brings the onus on the EU countries, representing nearly 10 percent of GHGs, or on both Australia (1.46 per cent) and Canada (1.95 per cent) or on both Mexico (1.7 per cent) and South Africa (1.85 per cent) together. The EU, though in negotiations showed urgency in taking actions on climate change, is battered by Brexit and in fix. A large number of remaining small countries or individual EU countries ratifying the agreement would however add up the climate-math to operationalize the Paris Agreement.
 
Climate-math is now reaching the finishing line; it is time to reflect on the sum total of real and urgent climate actions.
 
The Paris Agreement very rightly highlights that countries need not wait to operationalise it. The singularly important and foremost action indicated in it is to jump-start the goal of limiting global warming to 2 degrees C by continuing the efforts by the developed countries to meet the commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, whose life has been extended from 2012 to 2020 as per the Doha Amendment. The legally binding commitments taken by the developed countries under Kyoto would have to continue till the extended deadline.
 
Pre-2020 actions are at the heart of the Doha Amendment that pins down the developed countries to their binding commitments for reduction in emission of GHGs undertaken under the Kyoto Protocol and their contributions towards the Green Climate Fund established in 2010 for climate-actions in developing countries.
 
As of July 2016, of the 37 developed countries with binding commitments under Kyoto, only seven have ratified the Doha Amendment that has not yet entered into force. Canada, Japan and Russia have clearly stated that they would not ratify the Doha Amendment and will not take any continued commitment under Kyoto before 2020. Canada was committed under Kyoto to cutting its greenhouse emissions to six per cent below 1990 levels by 2012, but in 2009, emissions were 17 per cent higher than in 1990. Canada has withdrawn from the Kyoto Protocol.
 
The Green Climate Fund set up in 2009 was to contribute $30 billion from 2010 to 2012 by the developed countries to help developing countries for action on climate, reaching up to $100 billion per year by 2020. This pre-2020 financial commitment is also in doldrums as the total funding contributed by the developed countries as of July 2016 is just about $10 billion.
 
Obviously the climate-sums are not adding up as regards past commitments and definitely not in tandem with the enthusiasm demonstrated by the countries for the entry into force of the Paris Climate agreement. 
 
We indeed need Joseph Keller to make us understand these numbers in a practical way. He had famously said: "First of all, I have to understand the phenomenon; so that limits me right away. The time has come to limit the world right away in dealing with climate change."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
  

 

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'SC has no authority to ask Centre to set up Cauvery board'
The Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court that it has no jurisdiction to direct it to set-up the Cauvery Management Board as it was just a recommendation of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal and not binding on the government.
 
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi made the submission before the bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit while mentioning the Centre's application for modification of the apex court's September 30 order that directed the constitution of the Cauvery Management Board.
 
While fixing the hearing on the application on Tuesday at 2.00 p.m., the bench reminded the Attorney General that he had agreed on the last date of hearing that the Centre would constitute the Cauvery Management Board by October 4.
 
The Attorney General told the bench that he had made a mistake by committing to set up the Cauvery Management Board.
 
Even as the Centre tried to wriggle out of its commitment to set up the board, the bench questioned Karnataka why it has not released the water.
 
"Have you released some water? There can be a part compliance of our order. We can understand your difficulty," it said as senior counsel Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu, said Karnataka has not released any water as directed by the court.
 
As Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi urged the court to hear the Centre's application seeking modification of September 30 order, Naphade opposed it, asking what was the hurry as Karnataka was not complying with the court's order and will not comply at all.
 
Naphade told the court: "There is much more to it (Centre's application seeking modification of September 30 order) than what meets the eye. Have it on Thursday (When matter is listed for hearing) as it is their (Karnataka) is not giving water, come what may."
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
  

 

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Jio: Why It’s Different
The entry of Reliance Jio in the Indian telecom segment is important for three reasons. One, it has created a buzz in the mobile market that was stagnating for quite some time. Second, it has forced other players to reduce tariffs and increase customer-care. Third, Jio operates only in fourth generation (4G) space. This means that, even if it wants to, it cannot offer to a subscriber 2G or 3G network. So, the subscriber is assured of minimum basic data speed for which she is paying. Add to this the free voice calls and you will understand why people are thronging to Jio stores.
 
In addition to the existing pan-India 2,300MHz spectrum and 1,800MHz in 14 circles, Jio has invested over Rs10,000 crore during this year’s auction to acquire 800MHz spectrum in 10 circles and 1,800MHz spectrum in six circles. Also, Jio’s 250,000 kilometres of fibre-optic cables cover 18,000 cities and over 100,000 villages. With such high-scale infrastructure in place, Jio is better placed than incumbents in coverage as well as capacity. Moreover, all this is pure 4G with capacity to migrate to higher standards (5G & 6G) as and when required. 
 
The main difference between 4G and the previous standards, like 3G (denoted by H or HSPA+ or simply H+) and 2.5G (denoted by E), is the use of network nodes. Both, 3G and 2.5G, use packet-switched nodes for data services and circuit-switched nodes for voice calls. In 4G systems, the circuit-switched infrastructure is abandoned and only a packet-switched network is provided. Thus, in 4G, traditional voice calls are routed through Internet telephony, as data.
 
What does this mean to a common subscriber? The subscriber may get Jio’s 4G network across the country, well, most of the times. And there are no boundaries. The subscriber can use Jio across the country without worrying about roaming (exorbitant) charges. In addition, Jio has clarified that the data used for the voice calls will neither be charged nor deducted from the data balance of the subscriber. Nevertheless, keep in mind that a Jio subscriber may face difficulty while calling a subscriber from other networks due to inter-connectivity issues. Other operators are already up in arms against Jio, over this issue. 
 
This brings us to the tariff of Jio. Similar to other operators, Jio offers pre-paid and post-paid subscription, with plans ranging from Rs19 to Rs4,999 in pre-paid (28 days’ validity), and from Rs149 to Rs4,999 for post-paid monthly billing cycle. Subscribers are offered 100MB to 75GB data per month, in addition to almost double the data in Wi-Fi. Jio also offers unlimited data at night. However, the night, for Jio, lasts only for three hours, between 2am to 5am! 
 
So, can you simply buy a Jio SIM and start using this service? Yes, if you have a 4G-enabled handset capable of voice over LTE (Long Term Evolution). Handsets (even if you have bought a new one) that use 3G, cannot be used for Jio. Yes, if you are ready to stand in the long queues at Jio stores and have the patience for your SIM card activation. The company says that, with Aadhaar e-know your customer (e-KYC), it can activate a new connection faster—within 48 hours. However, according to feedback from several customers, this is not the case. I have met some customers who are waiting for activation for the past 20 days or more. This is for a new connection. Mobile number portability (MNP), although offered by Jio, may take even more time. 
 
If you want full value of your money, especially for data, then go for it. Voice calling to other networks is not really good, at present, and you may want to continue to use your current SIM. In any case, Jio is free up to 31 December 2016; so, no harm in testing it out, especially if you have a 4G handset. 

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COMMENTS

Simple Indian

10 months ago

Like millions across India, I too have tried to get a Jio SIM in recent weeks/days. However, there seems a scarcity of SIM Cards, which seems deliberate, as Jio probably wants to 'ration' its SIMs for now. That would prevent a sudden and huge spurt of subscribers on its network which could choke its network reducing data speeds for everyone. That would give it bad publicity on its tall claims of high speed network. Moreover, I feel most people who are opting for a Jio SIM now may not continue with it post Dec'16, else may use it as a secondary connection mainly for data access. The long queues are likely to reduce drastically once the free data usage offer gets over in Dec'16, so those who wish to use Jio in the long term may apply and get one. Also, there will be more clarity on tariffs and if Jio will start charging for Apps (which are currently Free) post free usage period.

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