Speaking at the BJP national council meeting in Kozhikode, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the country would ratify the Paris Agreement on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi who led his life with minimum carbon footprint.
“There is one work left in the CoP21 (a reference to the 21st meeting of Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Paris last year). Ratification (of the Paris Agreement) is yet to be done and India too is yet to do it. Today, on the birth anniversary of Deen Dayal Upadhyay, I announce that India will ratify the decisions (under the Paris Agreement) on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi,” Modi said.
The Paris Agreement on climate change seeks to keep global average temperatures from rising above 2 degree celsius as compared to the pre-industrial years.
India’s ratification will take the Paris Agreement tantalisingly close to meeting the requirement for its entry into force. This will happen on the 30th day from the date on which at least 55 countries, together accounting for at least 55 per cent of the global greenhouse gases, have ratified the agreement.
One of these conditions has already been met. As of Sunday, 60 parties, including China and the United States, the two biggest emitters, have already ratified the Paris Agreement. Together they account for 47.76 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. India’s share of the global emissions is more than five per cent.
India’s announcement makes it possible for the Paris Agreement to come into force this year itself, possibly even before the next annual climate change conference (CoP22) begins in Marrakesh on November 7. The agreement will, however, become operational only after 2020, taking over from the Kyoto Protocol, the currently existing international agreement on climate change. Countries can utilise the intervening years to frame the rules and create the institutions that will govern the Paris Agreement.
At the G20 meeting in China, India had ensured that the final communiqué did not contain any mention of a December 2016 deadline for member countries to ratify the Paris Agreement. China and the United States had announced their decisions to ratify the decisions and there was tremendous pressure on India to commit itself to do so before December.
By – Nikita Goel