India to ratify COP21 climate agreement

26 Sep 16

India, the world’s fourth largest emitter of greenhouse gases, will formally ratify the world’s historic climate deal next month, prime minister Narendra Modi has announced.


The deal, penned in Paris last December at the annual high level climate conference, COP21, was signed by an unprecedented 195 nations. It aims to keep global warming below 2°C, with an ambition to prevent it from rising above 1.5°C.

However, to come into force the agreement needed at least 55 countries representing 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions to formally ratify the deal.

India, which is responsible for just under 7% of the world’s total emissions, was one of those among the top five big emitters that had not yet announced when they would officially sign up.

“Ratification is yet to be done and India too is yet to do it,” noted Modi in a speech yesterday. “I announce that India will ratify the decision on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.”

Currently, 60 countries representing 47.7% of emissions have formally joined the agreement, meaning with India the world will be just shy of the 55% target.

America and China – together representing 40% of the world’s emissions – together announced they would ratify the deal during the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China earlier this month.

Over 30 nations also ratified the landmark accord at the United Nations General Assembly in New York last week, leading UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon to say he is optimistic the deal will come into force this year.

“What once seemed impossible now seems inevitable,” said Ban. “When this year ends, I hope we can look back with pride knowing that we seized the opportunity to protect our common home.”

Some major emitters however are still yet to sign up. The UK, Germany, the European Union as a whole, Canada and South Korea have all said they will ratify before the end of 2016.

Others, including Russia, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Iran, have not yet specified when they will sign up. 

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