Boost to Paris pact

Published by Metro India News on October 06, 2016 00:06:06 AM
European Parliament

It appears that the world is moving in the right direction with regard to the Paris climate accord. On Tuesday, the European Parliament approved the Paris accord to fight climate change, tipping it over the threshold needed for the global deal to enter into force. Elated UN chief Ban Ki-moon hailed it as an historic vote. The EU approval, expected to be endorsed by the bloc's 28 nations this week, will lift the deal over the required level of nations representing at least 55 percent of global emissions to enter into force.

So far, 62 nations, accounting for almost 52 percent of global emissions, have ratified the pact. Germany, Hungary, France, Austria, Slovakia and Malta, together representing 4.39 percent of global emissions, have ratified individually within the EU. Against odds, India ratified the Paris climate agreement on October 2nd, birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. The Paris Agreement, reached by nearly 200 nations nearly one year ago, will help guide a radical shift of the world economy away from fossil fuels in order to limit heat waves, floods, droughts and rising sea levels.

The pact requires nations to cut emissions levels so as to limit global warming. India accounts for around 4.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Ratification by the EU, which accounts for about 12 percent of global emissions, is expected to be deposited with the United Nations by Friday. China and the United States, the top emitters, ratified the pact this month. The accord enjoins nations to limit global warming to “well below” two degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit), compared to pre-industrial times.

The accord will take effect 30 days after the instrument of ratification is deposited with the United Nations. It would be ahead of the next round of climate talks in November in Morocco. In other words, it is time for the countries that have ratified the pact to turn promises (in the form of INDCs—intended nationally determined contributions) into cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

India has committed to effect 35% reduction in its emission intensity by 2030, build 40% capacity for power generation from non-fossil fuels, create additional carbon sink of 2.5 billion tonnes through afforestation, and undertake 175 GW renewable energy programme. Quite boldly, India has made it clear that the developed world needs to honour the Kyoto Protocol and manifest enhanced pre-2020 actions. This includes mobilizing 100 billion dollars. Without this money, it would be difficult for the developing nations to implement their INDCs.