The Union Cabinet has approved to ratify the Paris Agreement on Climate Change on 2nd October 2016, the day of Gandhi Jayanti. Paris Agreement was adopted by 185 nations last year on 12th December 2015 and India signed the Paris Agreement in New York early this year on 22nd April 2016.
A total of 191 countries have signed to the Paris Agreement so far. As per the provisions of the Paris Agreement, the treaty will come into force as and when 55 countries contributing to 55% of total global emission ratify the agreement. So far, 61 countries have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval accounting in total for 47.79% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions.
India’s decision to ratify the agreement will take the number of cumulative level of emission of countries that have ratified the agreement so far to 51.89%. With the gathering momentum and willingness expressed by several other countries to ratify the agreement before the end of this year, it is expected that the Agreement will enter into force soon and give a thrust to the global actions to address climate change.
With its decision to ratify the Agreement, India will be one of the key countries that will be instrumental in bringing the Paris Agreement into force. Given the critical role that India played in securing international consensus on Paris Agreement, today’s decision will further underline India’s responsive leadership in the community of nations committed to global cause of environmental protection and climate justice.
While agreeing to ratify the Paris Agreement, the Cabinet has also decided that India should declare that India will treat its national laws, its development agenda, availability of means of implementation, its assessment of global commitment to combating climate change, and predictable and affordable access to cleaner source of energy as the context in which the Agreement is being ratified.
Paris Agreement pertains to post-2020 climate actions. In the pre-2020 period, developed countries are to act as per Kyoto Protocol and some developing countries have taken voluntary pledges.