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India confirms Historic Paris climate Agreement at United Nations

India, the world's third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, ratified the landmark Paris climate deal, giving a significant push for the deal to enter into force by the end of this year

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Air pollution(Representational Image). Pixabay
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October 3, 2016: India, the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, today ratified the landmark Paris climate deal, giving a significant push for the deal to enter into force by the end of this year.

Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin handed over the Instrument of Ratification signed by President Pranab Mukherjee, to Santiago Villalpando, the Head of the Treaties Division at the UN, at a special ceremony here attended by top UN officials and senior diplomats to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary.

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon lauded India’s “climate leadership”, saying India’s ratification of the Paris Climate Change agreement moves the world an “important step closer” toward achieving the goal of entering the landmark deal into force this year.

In his message for the International Day of Non-violence, marked every year on Gandhi’s birth anniversary, Ban said there is no better way to commemorate Gandhi and his legacy for people and the planet than with India submitting its instrument of ratification to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

“I warmly congratulate India for its climate leadership, and for building on the strong momentum we see from all corners of the globe for the agreement to enter into force as quickly as possible this year. India’s ratification of the agreement moves the world an important step closer toward achieving that goal,” Ban said in the message.

He called on all countries to complete their domestic processes for ratification and also strive in all activities to achieve progress through non-violence.

The UN chief said the commitment to sustainable living that Gandhi emphasised on is reflected in a “momentous way” as India is depositing its instrument of ratification to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

“India keeps its promise. On Gandhiji’s birth anniversary, we deposit the instrument of ratification of Paris Agreement on climate change,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

Akbaruddin had on Friday said that India had played a “key role” in the negotiations and finalisation of the Paris agreement as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a “personal commitment” to the climate deal.

Akbaruddin had said that India’s effort was to be amongst those nations who give a push to the entry into force.

With India stressing on the importance of climate justice, its goal will be that “climate justice ends are also served” once the treaty comes into force.

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The ratification by India, which has a population of over 1.2 billion, is expected to give momentum to the implementation of measures at the international level to control global warming by limiting greenhouse gases.

The ratification formalises pledges made by each country, including India, to take actions to curb or lower greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 onwards and try to keep the rise in average global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius and to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius.

India, the world’s third biggest carbon emitter after China and the US which are responsible for around 40 per cent of the global carbon emissions, accounts for 4.1 per cent of global emissions.

Car emissions contribute to global climate change. Pixabay
Car emissions contribute to global climate change. Pixabay

Earlier this month, the US and China had formally joined the Paris agreement, which was adopted by 195 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change last December in Paris.

The pact will come into force after it has been ratified by at least 55 countries which account for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. With India’s move, a total of 62 countries accounting for almost 52 per cent of emissions have now ratified the accord.

Paris Agreement was adopted by 185 nations last year on December 12 and India signed it in New York on April 22 this year. A total of 191 countries have signed the Paris Agreement so far.

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However, India has decided to ratify the agreement “in the context” of its national laws, availability of means of implementation and “its own assessment” of global commitment to combating climate change.

“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. (IANS)

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Extreme weather risk high despite Paris Agreement: Study

The study published in the journal Science Advances showed that meeting the Paris Agreement's goal was likely to reduce the area of the globe that experiences greater than threefold increases in the probability of record-setting events

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The study published in the journal Science Advances showed that meeting the Paris Agreement's goal was likely to reduce the area of the globe that experiences greater than threefold increases in the probability of record-setting events. Wikimedia Commons
The study published in the journal Science Advances showed that meeting the Paris Agreement's goal was likely to reduce the area of the globe that experiences greater than threefold increases in the probability of record-setting events. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Paris Agreement saw nearly all the countries in the world set an aspirational target of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius
  • The researchers found that if countries kept their minimum commitment to limit global warming to 2-3 degrees Celsius

Meeting the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping the global-scale warming this century to less than 2 degrees Celsius could still lead to extreme weather events compared to the present, claims a study.

The Paris Agreement saw nearly all the countries in the world set an aspirational target of capping global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.

But even if the target was reached, “we still will be living in a climate that has a substantially greater probability of unprecedented events than the one we’re in now”, said Noah Diffenbaugh, a climate scientist at Stanford University and the paper’s lead author.

Also Read: Climate Change: Earth in Danger

The study published in the journal Science Advances showed that meeting the Paris Agreement’s goal was likely to reduce the area of the globe that experiences greater than threefold increases in the probability of record-setting events.

However, even at this reduced level of global warming, the world was still likely to see increases in record-setting events compared to the present.

The researchers found that if countries kept their minimum commitment to limit global warming to 2-3 degrees Celsius, it was still likely to result in a more than fivefold increase in the probability of record-breaking warm nights over approximately 50 percent of Europe, and more than 25 percent of East Asia.

Also Read: Global warming to continue for thousands of years

A 2-3 degree global warming would also likely result in a greater than three-fold increase in record-breaking wet days over more than 35 percent of North America, Europe and East Asia, the study said. (IANS)