India will ratify Paris climate deal today

The Paris agreement received a boost last month after the United States and China, the world's two biggest emitters, submitted their approvals to the United Nations. Photograph:( Reuters )

New Delhi, India Oct 02, 2016, 04.19 AM (IST)

India will sign the Paris climate deal today (October 2), according to its environment minister.

India's ratification is crucial for the climate deal, which seeks to combat global warming. 

The climate pact needs approval from 55 per cent of the world's carbon emitters for it to be legally binding. It currently stands at a little over 47 per cent. Inclusion of India, which is responsible for four per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, will help the deal move closer to the legal threshold. 

So far, 61 countries, including the United States and China (they account for 40 per cent of global carbon emissions), have agreed to the deal.

Last week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised to ratify the deal on October 2, the 147th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

"We will ratify the Paris deal in the UN tomorrow. The President has signed it. The Union Cabinet has already approved it," environment minister Anil Madhav Dave said, admitting there was "international pressure" because India's carbon emission figures were surging as it is "fast becoming a superpower". 

But India has maintained it will sign the pact but function in the context of its national laws. 

"While agreeing to ratify the Paris agreement, the Cabinet has also decided that India should declare that it will treat its national laws, its development agenda, availability of means of implementation, its assessment of global commitment to combating climate change, and predictable and affordable access to cleaner source of energy as the context in which the agreement is being ratified," an official statement had earlier said.

The Paris agreement doesn't want global temperatures to increase by more than 2 degrees Celcius. It will also provide $100 billion to developing nations from 2020 onwards to help them cope with the side-effects that are likely to crop up due to less utilisation of carbon-based fuels.  

(WION with inputs from agencies)