Indian Express 21st December 2019

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1) Issue : EU(European Union) Green deal and Why it matters.

The European Union has come up with a climate action plan when the global climate talks failed to reach key objectives. What is the EU’s plan, how does it compare to others’, and how much remains to be done?

European Union, whose 28 member countries are together the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world after China and the United States, came up with an announcement on additional measures it would on climate change. Called the European Green Deal.

The two key decisions

Two major decisions are at the heart of the European Green Deal.

One is about achieving “climate neutrality”. The EU has promised to bring a law, binding on all member countries, to ensure it becomes “climate neutral” by 2050.

Climate neutrality, sometimes also expressed as a state of net-zero emissions, is achieved when a country’s emissions are balanced by absorptions and removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.

Absorption can be increased by creating more carbon sinks like forests, while removal involves technologies like carbon capture and storage.

The second decision pertains to an increase in its 2030 emission reduction target. In its climate action plan declared under the Paris Agreement, the EU was committed to making a 40 per cent reduction in its emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 levels. It is now promising to increase this reduction to at least 50 per cent and work towards 55 per cent.

The EU also happens to be only one among major emitters to retain the 1990 baseline for emission cuts, originally mandated under the Kyoto Protocol for all developed countries. Most other countries have shifted their baselines to 2005 or even later under the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The Green Deal includes sectoral plans to achieve these two overall targets, and proposals for the policy changes that would be required. For example, it has proposals for making the steel industry carbon-free by 2030, new strategies for transport and energy sectors, a revision of managements of railway and shipping to make them more efficient, and more stringent air pollution emission standards for vehicles.

But still there is miles to go in the field of Preventing temperature rise.

2) Issue :-  Blow to NASA ISS mission: what happened?

A space capsule built to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) has failed its first test flight, and will now return to Earth without completing its mission. The capsule, named Starliner, has been built by Boeing, and was successfully launched by NASA from Cape Canaveral, Florida.


Why failed :- Starliner apparently fired its engines at the wrong time and, as a result, entered a wrong orbit. NASA reported that the capsule was “not in its planned orbit”, although “in a stable configuration while flight controllers are troubleshooting”.

Friday’s failure could delay the programme by perhaps a couple more years, reports were saying.

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule is scheduled to launch on January 11. It will be a crewless flight, and if it succeeds, SpaceX could be in a position to send astronauts into space in the first half of next year.

3)Snapshots of the insurance sector: little change in a year:-

First of all what is the Difference between Insurance density and Insurance Penetration :-

Insurance density is measured as the ratio of premium (in US dollars) to the total population; insurance penetration is measured as the ratio of premium (in US$) to GDP (in US$).

Insurance density and insurance penetration indicate the level of development of the insurance sector.

The insurance density of the life insurance sector in 2018 was $55, unchanged from the life insurance density of the previous year, the annual report of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) for 2018-19 released this week, shows. Life insurance penetration for 2018 was 2.74%, slightly lower than the 2.76% of 2017.

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