India Ratifies Paris Agreement on Climate Change

IAS Prelims 2023

India has ratified the Paris agreement on Climate Change on the 147th birth-anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Paris Agreement on Climate Change has moved closer to entering into force this year with 31 more countries formally joining the pact last week.

This brings the total number of countries ratifying the treaty to 60–five more than the threshold of 55 nations required for bringing into force the landmark pact that seeks to put the world on a path towards low-carbon growth and a more sustainable future.

With this, one of the two key thresholds for entry into force has now been officially met.

These 60 countries have now legally bound themselves to the Paris accord; they represent about 48 percent of global planet-warming emissions.

The global deal needs to cover the remaining 7 percent before it goes into legal force.

The threshold of 55 percent does not appear to be far as 14 countries, accounting for 12.58 percent of the global emission, also committed, at the meeting, to join the Agreement this year–virtually assuring that the climate deal will enter into force in 2016.

About Paris Agreement:

The Paris Agreement will come into force 30 days after the countries which contribute to 55 percent of global emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification, acceptance or accession with the UN Secretary-General.

Many governments agreed in Paris last December to curb the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are warming the planet.

The Paris Climate Agreement marked a watershed moment in taking action on climate change.

It calls on countries to combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future while adapting to the increasing impacts of climate change.

It involves actions that would limit warming to well below two degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average.

The Agreement was adopted by 195 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) at a conference known as COP21, last December in Paris.

The pact was signed in New York this April by 175 countries at the largest, single-day signing ceremony in history. In early September, the world’s two largest emitters, China and the United States ratified the deal.

Many of the countries that have joined the treaty are the small island nations, whose existence is threatened by rising sea levels provoked by global warming. But their individual emissions account for a mere fraction of the total global emissions.

The accord has not set targets for reduction of emissions. It relies heavily on global peer pressure and public scrutiny. The specifics of each country’s plans are voluntary.

There are no sanctions for failing to control pollution or to put economic policies into practice, or for submitting unambiguous pledges.

The legally-binding points of the Paris accord require governments to continue to assemble at high-profile global climate summits, make public pledges to tackle global warming at home and submit those plans.

The next major meeting of the UN Climate Change Summit will be held in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Stakeholders are looking at setting up an independent body to monitor and verify countries’ pollution levels. These will be subjected to public scrutiny to push nations to reduce their emissions.