What is the New Collective Quantified Goal?


  • The recently-concluded Bonn climate conference in Germany, expected to outline the political agenda for the crucial end-of-year Conference Of Parties-28 (COP28) in Dubai, was critical for reviewing and reforming the climate finance architecture. The conference has exposed a gaping hole in the funding needed to pay for climate action.  This comes from a long standing impasse between developed and developing countries, over where money for climate change policies should come from and in what form.

Defining New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG)

  • A commitment of ‘$100 billion per year till 2020’ to developing nations from developed countries was a target set at the Conference of Parties (COP) in 2009.
  • But estimates since then show addressing climate change may cost billions, and even, trillions of dollars. Therefore, the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement agreed on setting a New Collective Quantified Goal (NCGQ) for climate financing prior to 2025
  • The NCGQ is thus, termed the “most important climate goal”. It pulls up the ceiling on commitment from developed countries, is supposed to anchor the evolving needs and priorities of developing countries based on scientific evidence.

Need of a new finance goal

  • Out of the promised $100 billion per year, developed countries provided $83.3 billion in 2020, as per a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
  • These figures may be misleading and inflated by as much as 225%.
  • Moreover, the $100 billion target set in 2009 was seen more as a political goal, since there was no effort to clarify the definition or source of ‘climate finance’.
  • The economic growth of developed countries has come at the cost of high carbon emissions, and thus they are obligated to shoulder greater responsibility.
  • While funds available for climate finance have quantitatively increased, they are inaccessible, privately sourced, delayed and not reaching countries in need.
  • Countries most in need of finances have to wait years to access money and pay interest high rates, thus increasing their debt burden.

Developed countries stand-

  • Wealthy nations want to expand the donor base with NCQG. This would facilitate global contributions.
  • The European Union is calling for global efforts instead of contributions merely coming from developed countries.
  • The Environmental Integrity Group (EIG), a negotiation group comprising six nations including Switzerland, said other elements framed as “technical” by developing countries are highly political.

Developing countries stand-

  • Negotiators from Antigua and Barbuda said that technical negotiators don’t have the mandate to “expand donor base”.
  • Alliance of Small Island States, an intergovernmental organisation of low-lying coastal and small island countries, said broadening the donor base is a political topic.
  • South Africa, on behalf of the African Group of Negotiators also opposed the expansion of the donor base.


  • Countries are on a tight deadline to agree upon the NCQG ahead of 2024.
  • There’s no official number yet, but a global transition to a low-carbon economy requires investments of at least $4 trillion to $6 trillion a year, as per last year’s Sharm el-Sheikh Implementation Plan.
  • Some argue that instead of identifying a single aggregate figure, the NCQG could also set separate targets (or sub-goals) for focus areas such as mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage.
  • The aim is to focus on scaling up concessional financing, stopping debt creation and allowing NCQG to be more of a “process” rather than a goal towards equitable and people-led transition.

Editorial 2: Remembering Alex Müller for reshaping superconductors


  • Karl Alexander (Alex) Müller (1927–2023) was a Swiss physicist and Nobel Prize laureate. He was widely regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of superconductivity, and his discovery of high-temperature superconductors has had a profound impact on the field of solid-state physics and beyond.

Defining Superconductors

  • A superconductor is a material that attains superconductivity, a state of matter with no electrical resistance. In a superconductor, an electric current can persist indefinitely.
  • Superconductors are different from ordinary conductors, such as copper.
  • Unlike regular conductors whose resistance gradually reduces, the superconductor’s resistance drops to zero below a fixed temperature, which is the critical temperature.
  • At this temperature, a superconductor can conduct electricity with no resistance, which means no heat, sound, or other forms of energy would be discharged from the material when it reaches the “critical temperature” (Tc).
  •  To become superconductive, most materials must be in an incredibly low energy state (very cold). Presently, excessive energy must be used in the cooling process, making superconductors uneconomical and inefficient.
  • Some of the popular examples of superconductors are aluminium, magnesium diboride, niobium, copper oxide, yttrium barium and iron pnictides.

Superconductor Types

Superconductors come in two distinct types: type I and type II.

  • Type I Superconductors

A type I superconductor consists of fundamental conductive elements that are used in everything from electrical wiring to computer microchips.

  • Type II Superconductors

A type II superconductor comprises metallic compounds such as lead or copper. They achieve a superconductive state at much higher temperatures compared to type I superconductors. Type II superconductors can be penetrated by a magnetic field, whereas type I cannot.

Superconductivity Applications

  • MRI machines: Superconducting magnets are an essential component of MRI machines, which use strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the human body.
  • Particle Accelerators: Superconducting magnets are also used in particle accelerators, which are used to study the behaviour of subatomic particles.
  • Power Transmission Cables: Superconducting materials can be used to create power transmission cables that have almost no electrical resistance.
  • Electric Motors and Generators: Superconducting materials can be used to create more efficient electric motors and generators, which are essential components of many machines and devices.
  • Superconducting Quantum Computers: Superconducting materials are also being used to develop quantum computers, which have the potential to revolutionize computing by performing complex calculations much faster than traditional computers.
  • Fusion Energy: Superconductors are being investigated as a potential solution for producing sustainable fusion energy, which involves merging atomic nuclei to release energy.
  • High-Speed Transportation Systems: Superconductors are being explored as a potential solution for creating high-speed transportation systems, such as Maglev trains. Maglev trains use superconducting magnets to levitate and propel the train, resulting in faster and more efficient transportation.
  • Improved Energy Efficiency: Superconductivity can be used to create more efficient power transmission cables, motors, and generators, resulting in less energy loss and lower operating costs.
  • Faster Computing: Superconducting materials are being used to develop quantum computers that can perform complex calculations much faster than traditional computers.
  • Sustainable Energy: Superconductors are being investigated as a potential solution for producing sustainable fusion energy, which involves merging atomic nuclei to release energy.

Superconductivity-Indian Scenario

  • India has a long history of research in superconductivity, with notable contributions from institutions such as the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay.
  • The National Superconductivity Mission (NSM) is an initiative launched by the Government of India in 2017 to promote research and development in the field of superconductivity.
  • The mission aims to develop indigenous technology for superconductors and their applications in various industries, including healthcare, energy, and transportation.


  • Superconductivity offers exciting opportunities for various fields, but there are still challenges that need to be overcome before it can be widely adopted. With ongoing research and development, it is possible that many of these challenges will be overcome, and superconductivity will become an essential component of modern technology.


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