Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced that India will ratify the 21st Conference of Parties (CoP) protocol on combating climate change on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary on October 2. ”Now the time has come to ratify the COP21 protocol. India will do it on Gandhi Jayanti on October 2,” Modi said while addressing the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) National Council meet here, noting Gandhi lived his life with a minimum “Carbon footprint”.
It was also on October 2 last year that India had submitted its action plan, called the ‘Intended Nationally Determined Contribution’, to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which eventually led to a deal at COP 21 in Paris in December 2015. Modi also noted Jan Sangh founder and ideologue Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya had said that “we should exploit natural resources only to the extent which does not cause imbalance in the nature else its cycle will be destroyed”.
Expressing concern over climate change, he said the whole world is endeavouring to keep the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius as provided in the Paris agreement. ”Such was the perception of other nations that India is being a spoilsport…but at CoP21 the whole world praised India saying it played a forward and positive role (in allowing the negotiations at CoP21 go smoothly),” he added. The United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) was held in November-December 2015 in Paris, where 191 parties, including India, adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal, out of the total 197 parties to the convention.
India, along with 190 others, signed the Paris Climate Agreement at the UN in New York to create an ‘Environment Democracy’ in commemoration of the 46th ‘International Mother Earth Day’ on April 22. Out of 191 signatories, 60 — contributing 47.79 per cent of global emissions — have already ratified the CoP21 protocol, which is due to come into force in 2020. At least 55 countries, and signatories accounting for 55 per cent of the world’s harmful emissions, needed to ratify the agreement before it comes into effect.
While this country criterion has already been fulfilled, the emissions target – even after India’s ratification – would still outstrip the required figure by 3.11 per cent. China and the US have both ratified the accord. China is responsible for 20.09 per cent emissions, followed by the US at 17.89 per cent. The European Union, which is yet to ratify the agreement, accounts for 12.10 per cent while India stands at 4.10 per cent.To cut down its emissions, India has pledged to increase its clean energy share – solar and wind – by 40 per cent by 2022 to 175 GW. Its solar programme – aimed to achieve 100 GW by 2022 – is one of the fastest growing in the world.