India to ratify Paris climate pact in October

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India, the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, will ratify the Paris agreement on climate change in October, the country’s prime minister has said. The US and China have already signed up to the deal.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi confirmed Sunday that his country would ratify the Paris agreement on climate change on October 2, coinciding with the anniversary of the birth of Mohandas Gandhi, the South Asian nation’s independence leader.

“Now the time has come to ratify the COP21 protocol. India will do it on Gandhi Jayanti, on October 2,” Modi said at his Bharatiya Janata Party’s national meeting in the southern state of Kerala.

The Indian premier said he chose Gandhi’s anniversary as the late leader believed in a minimum carbon footprint.

COP21 refers to the Conference of Parties protocol that requires both rich and poor nations to reduce carbon levels and aims to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.

India accounts for around 4.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, behind only the United States and China, countries which have already ratified the agreement.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said earlier this month that 60 countries, responsible for around 48 percent of the global carbon emissions, had joined the pact.

New Delhi had previously expressed reservations on the deal, arguing that it would have a negative impact on India’s development. But on Sunday, PM Modi acknowledged that global warming posed a threat to coastal countries and cities.

The 22nd UN Climate Conference will take place on November 7 in Marrakesh.

shs/jm (AP, dpa, Reuters)