India, the world’s third-biggest carbon emitter, ratified the Paris agreement on climate change on Sunday on the birthday of the nation’s famously ascetic independence leader Mahatma Gandhi.
India, with a population of 1.3 billion people, is the latest big polluter to formally sign the historic accord which now takes a major step toward becoming reality.
Indian Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Anil Madhav Dave said: “India deposited its instrument of ratification of the Paris agreement on climate change” at the UN in New York.
“Great push to global actions to address climate change,” he added on Twitter.
The accord, sealed in December last year, needs ratification from 55 nations that account for at least 55 percent of the planet’s greenhouse-gas emissions responsible for climate change.
With India’s move, a total of 62 nations accounting for almost 52 percent of emissions have now ratified the agreement to commit to take action to stem the planet’s rising temperatures.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced last month that Oct. 2, a national holiday, had been chosen as the ratification date because freedom fighter Gandhi had lived his life with a low-carbon footprint.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and others have voiced confidence the accord will come into force by the end of the year, after a string of nations joined up, including the US and China, the two largest emitters.
“India’s leadership builds on the continued strong political momentum from Paris for urgent global action on climate change,” Ban said in a statement. “Action on climate change is crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and creating a more prosperous, equitable and livable future for all people.”
The accord requires all nations to devise plans to achieve the goal of keeping the rise of temperatures within 2?C above preindustrial levels.
Environmentalists welcomed Sunday’s move, but urged India to work to phase out coal, which it relies on for electricity.
“India is one the very few large economies that has not made any promises of phasing out of coal,” said Joydeep Gupta, director of “the third pole” Web site. “This government is good on renewable energy, but not good on environmental issues. There is a lot of pushing back on air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution.”
India, the world’s fastest-growing major economy, has long insisted that it needs to keep burning cheap and plentiful coal to cut crippling blackouts and bring electricity to millions of poor living without it.
India, which accounts for 4.1 percent of global emissions, has not agreed to cap or cut its emissions outright like some. Instead it says it would increase its use of green energy and reduce its emissions relative to its GDP by up to 35 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels — meaning emissions will continue to grow, but at a slower rate.
Modi has set an ambitious target of reaching 100,000 megawatts of solar power by 2022, up from about 20,000 megawatts.
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around