After four years of talks, representatives from 195 countries created history in Paris in December 2015 by agreeing to a comprehensive climate change deal that will commit nearly every country to lowering planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions besides giving a boost to clean energy business.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Sunday India would ratify the Paris Agreement on October 2, Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary. To date, 60 countries have ratified the deal including major economies such as China, Brazil, Argentina and others. Last week, the European Union announced that it would collectively ratify the deal before November.
Why did India delay ratification of the deal
New Delhi linked its membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), an elite club of countries dealing with trade in nuclear technologies and fissile materials, to ratifying the Paris climate agreement.
This stand became a difficult proposition to sell to other governments because the country’s emission reduction commitments under Paris Agreement do not require a major increase of nuclear power in the country’s future energy mix.
Here are the highlights of the deal:
Goal: The long-term goal is to limit global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius over pre-Industrial Revolution levels, and to try for 1.5 degree if possible.
Impact: Will push out fossil fuels from economies.
Peak: The world will aim for climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions to peak “as soon as possible”, probably in second half of the century.
Impact: Will provide affordable green technologies to developing countries.
Climate action: Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) to be reviewed again in 2023 and then once every five years to reflect highest possible ambition as per the individual capabilities of countries.
Impact: Introduces ‘name and shame’ regime for nations that don’t have an ambitious climate plan.
Emission reduction: Developed countries to take economy-wise absolute emission reduction (no target) and developing countries to enhance their mitigation efforts.