India ratifies historic Paris climate deal at United Nations on Gandhi Jayanti - Firstpost
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India ratifies historic Paris climate deal at United Nations on Gandhi Jayanti

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United Nations: India ratified the landmark Paris climate deal on Sunday to bring into force the agreement expected to give momentum to implementation of measures at international level to control global warming.

Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin handed over the Instrument of Ratification signed by President Pranab Mukherjee, to Santiago Villalpando, the Head of the Treaties Division at the UN, at a special ceremony here attended by top UN officials and senior diplomats to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi's birth anniversary.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon lauded India's "climate leadership", saying India's ratification of the Paris Climate Change agreement moves the world an "important step closer" toward achieving the goal of entering the landmark deal into force this year.

In his message for the International Day of Non-violence, marked every year on Gandhi's birth anniversary, Ban said there is no better way to commemorate Gandhi and his legacy for people and the planet than with India submitting its instrument of ratification to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

"I warmly congratulate India for its climate leadership, and for building on the strong momentum we see from all corners of the globe for the agreement to enter into force as quickly as possible this year. India's ratification of the agreement moves the world an important step closer toward achieving that goal," Ban said in the message.

He called on all countries to complete their domestic processes for ratification and also strive in all activities to achieve progress through non-violence.

The UN chief said the commitment to sustainable living that Gandhi emphasised on is reflected in a "momentous way" as India is depositing its instrument of ratification to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

"India keeps its promise. On Gandhiji's birth anniversary, we deposit the instrument of ratification of Paris Agreement on climate change," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

Akbaruddin had on Friday said that India had played a "key role" in the negotiations and finalisation of the Paris agreement as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a "personal commitment" to the climate deal.

The move comes after President Pranab Mukherjee gave his assent to a proposal approved earlier by the government to coincide with the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who believed in a minimum carbon footprint.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on 25 September said: "There is one work left in the CoP21 (Conference of Parties). Ratification is yet to be done and India too is yet to do it."

Marking a moment in history, India had joined over 170 countries in signing the pact in April that brought together developing and developed nations for beginning work on cutting down greenhouse gas emissions to combat global warming.

The ratification by India, which has a population of over 1.2 billion, is expected to give momentum to the implementation of measures at the international level to control global warming.

Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave told reporters in New Delhi on Saturday that "this (decision) was taken after a lot of deliberations and with a view to give the world a messege... India is fast becoming a super power".

India, the world's third biggest carbon emitter after the US and China which are responsible for around 40 per cent of the global carbon emissions, accounts for 4.1 per cent of global emissions.

Earlier this month, the US and China had formally joined the Paris agreement, which was adopted by 195 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change last December in Paris.

The pact will come into force after it has been ratified by at least 55 countries which account for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. So far, 61 countries have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval, accounting for 47.8 per cent of global emissions.

With India's move, a total of 62 countries accounting for almost 52 per cent of emissions will have ratified the accord.

First Published On : Oct 2, 2016 20:35 IST

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