During her address at the United Nations, Sushma Swaraj, India’s Minister for External Affairs, declared that on Oct. 2 – Gandhi Jayathi – India will deposit the instrument of ratification of the Paris agreement on climate change.
India, one of the largest polluters on earth, will bring this global deal to fight the menace of global warming closer to enter into force later this year. India had, in fact, announced its ‘climate action plan’ (to fight the challenges of climate change) on October 2 last year. It had submitted its ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the UN body on October 1, 2015 and later made it public the next day coinciding it with the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. So far,
60 countries including the world’s top two polluters – China and USA – have ratified the Agreement which was adopted by 195 countries in Paris last December. While China and USA had ratified it on September 3, as many as 31 countries had formally joined the Agreement through formal ratification or acceptance at a special event, hosted by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York, on September 21.
The Agreement will enter into force 30 days after 55 countries, representing 55% of global emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification, acceptance or accession with the UN Secretary-General. Though the national ratification has already crossed the threshold of 55 countries, it has so far only accounted for nearly 47.62% of the global emission.
Decision of India, which accounts for 4.1% of the global emission, will now bring it closer to the emission threshold of 55%. The magic figure of 55% will certainly be reached this year as 14 more countries, accounting for 12.58% of the global emission, had on September 21 committed to join the Agreement this year most probably before the beginning of the next UN conference on climate change (COP22) in Morocco in November.
The Paris Agreement calls on countries to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future, and to adapt to the increasing impacts of climate change.
It mandates regular meetings every five years, starting in 2018, to review progress and to consider how to strengthen the level of ambition as countries recognised that the present level of climate actions, pledged by individual nations, were still not sufficient to save the world from the adverse impact of climate change.
Besides India, the other countries who have announced to join the Paris Agreement through formal ratification this year include Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Hungary, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Poland, and the Republic of Korea.