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India Ratifies Paris Climate Change Agreement
Oct 03, 2016

  • India ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change by depositing the instrument of ratification with the United Nations on the 147th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. A special event was organised to mark the occasion, also observed as the International Day of Non-violence, at the UN headquarters.

  • India is the 62nd country to ratify the agreement.

  • The agreement will enter into force one month after 55 countries that account for 55 percent of global emissions ratify the agreement.

  • With today's action by India, which accounts for 4.1 per cent of the emissions, the Agreement only needs slightly more than 3 percentage points to reach the 55 per cent threshold.

  • At least 14 other countries, representing at least 12 per cent of global emissions, have committed to ratifying the pact before the end of the year.

  • Ratifying the agreement, India has said that it will protect the interests and strongly present the viewpoint of the developing countries at the upcoming COP 22 at Marrakech, Morocco.

  • The upcoming negotiations at COP 22 are very crucial to advance on key issues.

Key Priorities

1. Enhancing Ambition and promoting action between 2016-2020:  Paris Agreement is for post-2020 period.  Currently, we are operating under the pre-2020 action framework and must not wait any further to take action.  The developed countries should ratify the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.  At Morocco, we must agree to set up an action roadmap for 2016-2020 for raising ambition and achieving pre-2020 goals.
2. Mobilising means of implementation (finance, technology and capacity-building support) before and after 2020:  $11 billion per year climate finance goal has not been met.  At Morocco, India will insist for a concrete roadmap from developed countries.  $10.3 billion committed to the Green Climate Fund does not match the enormous finance and technology requirements indicated by developing countries in their INDCs.  On the technology and capacity-building front also, not much headway has been made.  The new Technology Framework under the Paris Agreement should help to remove barriers to technology access and provide finance for meeting higher technological costs.
3. Furthering the cause of Adaption and loss and damage:  India is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.  The first review of the loss and damage mechanism at COP 22 is an opportunity for India to ensure that this mechanism provides tangible and concrete solutions.  Most important of these would be to ensure that there are tools to address adaptation, financial risk management and finance needs for dealing with extreme and slow onset events.
4. Detailing rule and modalities under Paris Agreement:  Paris Agreement has laid a broad framework, but guidelines and rules need to be detailed for the Agreement to be operational.  Pending task such as modalities for market mechanism, transparency arrangements, features of NDCs, facilitative dialogue, must be expedited, starting from Morocco COP.    Several new bodies such as the Paris Committee on capacity-building, the Technology Framework etc must also be ready before 2020.
5. Furthering the agenda on sustainable lifestyles and climate justice:  It is important that apart from emission cuts, we also focus on measures that involve broader participation.  People in developed countries live extravagant lifestyles with high carbon footprint.  Simple everyday changes in lifestyles, when practiced by a large number of people around the globe, collectively will make a huge impact.  The power of choices that each one of us makes every day like the food we eat, the way we travel, the things we buy etc are not realised.  When choices that 7 billion world citizens make are put together, it impacts our planet in a major way.  Therefore, each choice counts.  India has made a commitment in its INDC, on sustainable lifestyles and will continue to push this agenda forward in Morocco.

India’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement has come after ensuring compliance of domestic legal requirements, internal discussions and after obtaining clarity from UNFCCC with regard to transparency and participation of Parties in the future processes.

Countries have been assured by UNFCCC that other Parties will be given sufficient time to ratify the Paris Agreement, at least till 2018, so that future decision-making is as inclusive as possible.

Paris Agreement: Paris Agreement was adopted by 185 nations last year on 12th December  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.

  • 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.

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.

While agreeing to ratify the Paris Agreement, the Government has also decided that India should declare that it 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.


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