US, UN Welcome Indian Ratification of Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Handing over the instrument of ratification on paris agreement to the UN: Indian Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, PR hands over to Santiago Villalpando, Chief, Treaty Section, OLA at ECOSOC Chamber

Must read

Washington, DC – The United States on Monday welcomed the news that India on October 2 ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, bringing the treaty’s entry into force “tantalizingly” close.

Addressing the daily press briefing, Elizabeth Trudeau, Director, Press Office said, “We welcome this. This is fantastic news. India, like many countries, has been working to complete its domestic process as quickly as possible. We are very encouraged.”

“We care about strong climate action , and the Paris Agreement has been a matter of personal commitment and leadership for both (US) President (Barack) Obama and (Indian) Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi.”

India chose 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,” said 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.

“The country is embarking on a sustainable development pathway. Prime Minister [Narendra] Modi calls it ‘development without destruction,’” Eliasson added.

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 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification.

With Sunday’s action by India, which accounts for 4.1 percent of the emissions, the Agreement only needs slightly more than 3 percentage points to reach the “55 percent” 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 “tantalizingly” 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,” 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,” it added.

More articles

Latest article