India ratifies historic Paris climate deal

India is the latest big polluter to formally join the Paris climate deal which now takes a major step towards becoming reality.

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

India’s move coincided with the birth anniversary of the country’s independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, who believed in a minimum carbon footprint.

India, the world's third biggest carbon emitter, has formally ratified Paris climate deal in the United Nations, the country's environment minister Anil Madhav Dave announced on Sunday.

India is the latest big polluter to formally sign onto the historic accord which now takes a major step towards becoming reality.

The country represents 4.2 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

Dave said "India deposited its Instrument of Ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change" at the United Nations in New York.

"Great push to global actions to address climate change," he added on Twitter.

The country with a population of 1.3 billion people is the third largest emitter in the world.

The Paris agreement was adopted last December by all 195 members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the European Union.

It is aimed at dealing with greenhouse gas emission mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020.

The deal will enter into force fully only if at least 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of global emissions ratify it.

So far, 61 nations representing 47.8 percent of emissions have ratified.

Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that October 2, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, had been chosen as the ratification date because Gandhi had lived his life with a low-carbon footprint.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon and others have voiced confidence the accord will come into force by the end of the year, after a string of nations joined up, including the United States and China, the two largest emitters.

On Friday, EU environment ministers also agreed to fast-track the ratification.

India has not agreed to cap or cut its emissions outright like some. Instead it says it will hike up its use of green energy and reduce its emissions relative to its gross domestic product by up to 35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels. This means emissions will continue to grow but at a slower rate.

TRTWorld and agencies