On the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s 147th birth anniversary on Sunday, India ratified the historic Paris Climate Deal or COP21 and handed over the instrument of ratification to the UN.
At 7:30pm (local time) on Sunday, India became the 62nd country to ratify the Agreement that would come into force in November. As India ratified the deal, the emission share of signatories reached 52%. The deal takes effect 30 days after being ratified by 55 states, who together account for at least 55% of global emissions.
India made the move just a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the ratification of the landmark deal would take place on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, considered as the ‘Father of Nation’ in the South Asian country.
Soon after New Delhi informed the UN Secretariat in New York that it operationalised the agreement, senior spokesperson of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Vikas Swarup tweeted: “India keeps its promise. On Gandhiji’s birth anniversary, we deposit the instrument of ratification of #ParisAgreement #climatechange.” Later, US President Barack Obama tweeted: “Gandhiji believed in a world worthy of our children. In joining the Paris Agreement, @narendramodi & the Indian people carry on that legacy.”
Although India had played a crucial role at last year’s Paris Climate Summit, it failed to stick to the COP21 timeline due to some technical problems. The Modi government had informed the global community that New Delhi would take time to change the processes.
Once the EU ratifies the agreement on Tuesday (October 4), the signatories’ global share will be 64% (ahead of the next climate meet from November 7 in Morocco). The Paris Accord aims to limit global warming to 2 degree Celsius of pre-Industrial Revolution levels and countries, under the agreement, are supposed to take their climate actions in post-2020 period. In the pre-2020 period, only developed countries are to act as per Kyoto Protocol.
India had announced its ‘climate action plan’ to fight climate change on October 2, 2015, when it submitted ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contribution’ to the world body. New Delhi assured the UN that it would reduce emission intensity or emissions per unit of GDP by at least 33% by 2020 as compared to 2005 levels. The South Asian nation also plans that at least 40% of its electricity generated in 2030 will come from non-fossil fuel sources. India further decides to create an additional carbon sink of about 2.5 billion tonnes to 3 billion tonnes by creating more forest and tree cover.
The Treaty comes into force when nations, accounting for 55% of world’s emissions, ratify it. Currently, 62 nations (52% of emissions) are on board and the threshold is expected to be crossed soon. Now, India will insist on concrete roadmap from rich nations to mobilise funds to help the developing countries move to a low carbon growth path. With India ratifying the Paris Climate Deal, Prime Minister Modi said: “India is committed to doing everything possible to mitigate climate change.”