United Nations, Sep 27, 2016: After Prime Minister Narendra Modi informed that India will ratify the historic Paris Climate Deal on Gandhi Jayanti, the country moved closer to reality on Monday by announcing that New Delhi would give a formal consent and submit the document to the United Nations on 2nd October.
The move was greeted as “great news” by Sierra Club, a major environmental organisation. An official of the group said that it would build momentum for getting enough ratifications for the accord to come into force early.
External Affairs Minister of India Sushma Swaraj asserted at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that “We have decided to submit our Instrument of Ratification of the Paris Agreement on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi who epitomised a lifestyle with the smallest carbon footprint.”
In her speech, Swaraj brought up Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s concept of climate justice.
She explained, “In the Paris Agreement, the principle of ‘Common but Differentiated Responsibilities’ and ‘Respective Capabilities’ has been acknowledged and accepted. This makes clear that while our responsibility is common, obligations are different. Developed nations must discharge their responsibility in the search for the common good, with finance and technology transfer.”
Having invoked Gandhi, she spoke of his way to save the environment. “We must curb reckless consumption, and adopt lifestyles in harmony with nature. Yoga, the storehouse of India’s ancient wisdom, epitomises a sustainable lifestyle,” she said.
“(For its part) India has launched an ambitious domestic effort to transform our energy mix to achieve 40 per cent energy from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030,” she said.
For the Paris accord to come into force it needs to be ratified by 55 countries that account for 55% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. When Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon held a ceremony last Wednesday for countries to submit their ratification documents, 60 countries accounting for 47.5 per cent of the emissions had complied, leaving a 7.5% gap for greenhouse gas output.