The Paris promise

India evolved its approach in the run-up to the Paris conference and took a leadership role in the international negotiations that culminated in the signing of the historic deal


Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint
Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that India will ratify the Paris climate change agreement on 2 October. After years of being accused, even if unfairly, of stonewalling rather than enabling such a deal, India evolved its approach in the run-up to the Paris conference and took a leadership role in the international negotiations that culminated in the signing of this historic agreement.

It is only in the fitness of things that India now takes the fight against climate change to the next level, even if with a different strategy more acceptable to the West.

For the deal to take effect, two conditions have to be met—at least 55 countries, accounting for 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions, have to ratify it. Sixty-one states have ratified the deal, but they still account for less than 48% of the emissions. Once India, with more than 5% share, joins the list, the treaty, which will only be operationalized after the Kyoto Protocol lapses in 2020, will be ready for enforcement—before the 2017 summit, even.

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