No surprise in PM’s move to ratify Paris deal: Minister

Anil Dave  

Prime Minister Modi’s decision to ratify the Paris climate deal on October 2 was a “well considered and pre-planned decision,” Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Anil Dave told The Hindu. “There was no element of surprise in the Environment Ministry,” he stressed.

On September 5, India’s official representative to the G20 Summit in Beijing, Arvind Panagariya had said India would not be able to ratify the climate deal by the year end because there were “domestic procedures” to be adhered to. As per procedures, the agreement does not need parliamentary approval, only that the copy of the deal be placed in Parliament.

Opportune moment

“There was no doubt that the climate deal would be ratified but we must do it at a time and place of our choosing and I think the PM’s choice of date is opportune,” Mr Dave added, speaking to The Hindu over the phone.

“This agreement will be ratified only when 55 countries sign it. On October 2, we will ratify it. Mahatma Gandhi’s life perhaps left the least carbon footprint on earth. We follow his ideals and India will play its part in ratifying the Paris agreement,” Mr Modi said on Sunday at Kozhikode at the BJP’s national council meet.

The agreement would come into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification or acceptance with the United Nations Secretary-General.

So far 60 countries have deposited their instruments of ratification for the agreement, representing more than 47.5 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. On September 16, the European Union (EU), which is responsible for 10 per cent of global emissions, too committed to have all its members’ ratification of the deal in October.

Thus, had India not acceded to the pact, the Paris agreement would still be on track with India — responsible for 6.9 per cent of emissions — sticking out as a spoil-sport.

India’s commitment

India has committed to reducing its emissions intensity by 33-35 per cent by 2030, compared with 2005 levels and relying on 175,000 MW, 57 per cent of which is expected to come from solar energy.

It has also offered to rapidly increase its forest cover so that an additional carbon sink of about 2.5 to three billion tonnes is created by the year 2030.