Kozhikode: India will ratify the Paris pact on Climate Change on October 2, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday, in a surprise announcement that will be a “big step” towards bringing the historic deal into full force.
The announcement by Modi for ratifying last year’s Paris agreement to limit greenhouse gases next Sunday to coincide with the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi was made in his address to BJP’s National Council meet here. The decision is expected to give momentum to implementation of measures at international level to control global warming.
While Western countries, including the US, had been pushing for an early ratification of the pact–possibly by the end of this year, India had been seeking more time to complete its national processes as it fears that any hasty decision may impact its developmental projects.
“There is one work left in the CoP21 (Conference of Parties). Ratification 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 on October 2, the birth anniversary of mahatma Gandhi,” Modi said. Modi said he had chosen the date as Mahatma Gandhi’s life was an example of minimum carbon footprint.
During the Paris climate meet in December last, more than 190 nations had agreed on setting ambitious goals for capping global warming and funnelling trillions of dollars to poor countries facing climate catastrophe. The pact will come into force after it is ratified by at least 55 countries that account for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Talking about the need to ratify the COP21 decision, Modi said there is a looming threat due to global warming to many coastal countries and cities. Even Kerala, where the conclave was being held, is also a coastal area.
The US welcomed Modi’s announcement. “We welcome the news India will join the #ParisAgreement October 2,” US Ambassador to India Richard Verma said. “Congrats Prime Minister @narendramodi for your leadership to #ActOnClimate,” Verma tweeted.
Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said India ratifying the Paris agreement will be a “big” step and will bring a big change in the world change with regards to climate change. “Today Prime Minister has announced that India will ratify the Paris agreement implying that the agreement arrived at in Paris, has been accepted by India in binding. The goals decided, the targets fixed with regards to climate change, 55 nations will come together to achieve this, later more countries will come.
“I believe that this is a major step taken by India on the world stage. Ratification of Paris Agreement by India will bring a big difference to climate change,” Dave said.
Dave said that till now, more than 50 nations have signed the agreement, that is they have accepted the agreement according to their respective Constitution. “In India, this right is vested with the Prime Minister and is vested in the Union Cabinet,” he said.
China and the US – responsible for around 40 per cent of the world’s carbon emissions – on Saturday jointly ratified the Paris climate change deal that aims to significantly reduce global emissions, giving hopes that the landmark accord may come into effect by the end of this year.