Ahead of Paris Treaty ratification, Cabinet hastens procedures for approval

By: | Updated: September 28, 2016 7:36 AM

At a BJP meeting on September 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that India would “play its part” in ratifying the Paris treaty and submit the ascension document on October 2 to coincide with Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary

clima-reu-LThe Environment Ministry however, remains non-committal to the ratification contending that domestic rules requires amendment to dovetail with the pact, according to the sources.

In a bid to emerge among the torch bearers of the Paris treaty, the NDA government is rushing through a Cabinet approval on Wednesday so that the deal is ratified on October 2. As per sources, the countdown for India began on September 21 when 60 countries accounting for 47.62% of the global emission ratified the treaty, leaving only 7.5% to be covered by the remaining members.

At a BJP meeting on September 25, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that India would “play its part” in ratifying the Paris treaty and submit the ascension document on October 2 to coincide with Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary. The agreement would come into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55% of emissions send their respective instruments of ratification.

Also read | India to ratify Paris agreement soon; here’s all you need to know about it

“The Ministry of External Affairs warned that the required number of 55 percent could be reached if any of the three — European Union, Russia and Japan — ratified it. That would have pushed India into an observer status rather than being a vociferous member,” said government officials.

The Paris Agreement is an international deal within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Hitherto, India had not ratified the deal as it sought greater flexibility for its industrial and economic growth plans. Earlier, NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya had ruled out the possibility of ratification this year. He had said India would not be able to complete the “domestic procedures” leading up to the ratification.

The Environment Ministry however, remains non-committal to the ratification contending that domestic rules requires amendment to dovetail with the pact, according to the sources.

Sources also report that Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar warned of the possibility of getting sidelined and be excluded while the nuts and bolts of the treaty are being decided if any of the three large polluters signed the treaty ahead of India. He also added that now that India has decided to sign the deal, it should lead from the front as in case of Solar Alliance and Climate Justice.

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