Two days ago, the United Nations announced that India, one of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases, has agreed to join the climate change deal made in Paris last December. Negotiated along with 194 other countries, COP21 aims to lower greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to limit global warming. Of these countries, 62 have officially ratified the agreement.
Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi revealed that India would ratify the climate change deal on October 2nd in honour of Mahatma Gandhi, whose birthday is on October 2nd. India is responsible for 4.5% of global greenhouse gas emission. Narendra Modi recognizes the threat climate change poses and works to diversify electricity sources. By 2030, India hopes to garner 40% of its energy from non-fossil fuel sources. Considering that India remains one of the largest coal consumers in the world, diversifying energy sources will undoubtedly help mitigate the impacts of climate change.
India’s ratification of the Paris global climate agreement signifies an important step towards binding the Paris climate change deal, which will come into place once 55 countries that together contribute to at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions confirms the deal. While India is the sixty-second country to formalize the deal, the current constituents of the deal only contribute 52% of greenhouse gas emissions. However, the E.U. is expected to sanction the deal across E.U. member states sometime next week, which will push the total emissions of the members over 55%.