India ratifies Paris climate pact at UN, brings its entry into force 'tantalisingly close'

UNITED NATIONS. KAZINFORM India ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, bringing the treaty's entry into force "tantalisingly" close.

"The country is embarking on a sustainable development pathway. Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi calls it 'development without destruction,'" UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said after witnessing India becoming the 62nd country to deposit a legal instrument of ratification for the climate pact during a commemorative event on the International Day of Non-Violence.

India has chosen the International Day and the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, who led the country's independence movement and pioneered the philosophy and strategy of non-violence, as an opportunity to join the climate accord.

"There is no better way to commemorate the great Mahatma Gandhi and his legacy of peace for people and planet," Mr. Eliasson said.

The Agreement, which calls on countries to combat climate change and limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, will take effect 30 days only after at least 55 countries, responsible for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification.

With today's action by India, which accounts for 4.1 per cent of the emissions, the Agreement only needs slightly more than 3 percentage points to reach the "55 per cent" threshold. The "55 countries" requirement had already been met.

Also addressing the event, UN General Assembly President Peter Thomson said Gandhi would have been delighted to learn of India's ratification, which he said brought the treaty's entry into force "tantalisingly" close.

"That this step, so full of hope and commitment, occurred on the anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi is especially fitting, given the Mahatma's enduring ethical messages of humanism, environmentalism and pacifism," Mr. Thomson said.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is visiting Switzerland, warmly congratulated India for ratifying and formally joining the Agreement.

"India's leadership builds on the continued strong political momentum from Paris for urgent global action on climate change," the statement said. "The Secretary-General calls on all Parties to accelerate their domestic procedures in order to join the agreement as soon as possible this year. Action on climate change is crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and creating a more prosperous, equitable and livable future for all people."

Read more at The UN News Centre

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