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

By: | Published: September 27, 2016 1:08 PM

One of the major aims of the 16-page Paris Agreement, which includes a preamble and 29 Articles, is to control the average global temperature rise to under 2 degrees Celsius and working so that it tends towards 1.5 degrees Celsius.

climate-reu-LCOP21 Paris Agreement is the first of its kind global agreement that aims at controlling global warming. (Reuters)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced that India would ratify the Paris climate agreement on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Till date, 60 countries have ratified the deal including major economies such as China, Brazil, Argentina and others. Ratification of the deal would convey India’s decision to formally join the Paris Agreement and to abide by its provisions.

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.

One ratified, the agreement will have a significant bearing on the energy sector and shall have a considerable impact on the industrial output as well. The ratification of the deal is a single-step process in India, requiring just the approval of the union cabinet.

The “procedures” that Panagariya referred to most probably relate to the ongoing consultations on the steps to be taken to fulfil commitments India had made in its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) submitted last year. After submission, these have become Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs.

COP21 Paris Agreement is the first of its kind global agreement that aims at controlling global warming. The agreement requires countries with 55 per cent of global emissions to ratify the document for it to become binding. After the ratification is done, a legal and procedural framework will be established that will work to strictly curb greenhouse gas emissions globally.

During the run-up to the Paris climate change conference in 2015, India had proposed a series of actions that it would take in bid to contribute towards the global fight against climate change. India had also promised to produce about 40 per cent of its electricity in 2030 from “non fossil-based sources” like solar energy, wind or hydropower. It had also offered to rapidly increase its forest cover so that an additional carbon sink of about 2.5 to three billion tonnes is created by the year 2030.

One of the major aims of the 16-page Paris Agreement, which includes a preamble and 29 Articles, is to control the average global temperature rise to under 2 degrees Celsius and working so that it tends towards 1.5 degrees Celsius.

In order to achieve these targets, India would need to implement new policies and even legislation to attain the targets. However, the entre exercise is unlikely to be completed by the end of this year, as Panagariya suggested.

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