India set to ratify Paris climate change agreement at UN

NEW DELHI: India will ratify the Paris climate change agreement at the United Nations on Sunday, an Environment Ministry official said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet had given its approval Wednesday to ratify the Paris agreement on Oct. 2, coinciding with the birth anniversary of India's independence leader Mohandas Gandhi, who believed in a minimum carbon footprint.

Environment Ministry spokesman Himank Kothiyal said Indian officials would hand over the ratification instruments to UN officials in New York later Sunday.

India accounts for around 4.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

The Paris agreement will come into force when 55 countries contributing to at least 55 percent of total global emissions ratify the deal.

So far, 61 countries have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval, accounting for 47.8 percent of global emissions, an Indian government statement said.

The Paris agreement was adopted by 185 nations in December. It asks both rich and poor countries to take action to curb the rise in global temperatures that is melting glaciers, raising sea levels and shifting rainfall patterns. It requires governments to present national plans to reduce emissions to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

India has committed that by 2030, at least 40 percent of its electricity will be generated from non-fossil sources. This includes 175 gigawatt renewable energy capacity by 2022.

Manish Bapna, executive vice president and managing director of the World Resources Institute, said that India "has one of the boldest renewable energy targets in the world, making it destined to be a major player in solar and wind markets."

Money will be a big challenge for India, which says it will require over $2.5 trillion to meet all of its targets. It says it will achieve the targets only if other countries give it money and discounts on new technology.