India ratifies Paris climate agreement

NEW DELHI, Oct. 2 (UPI) — India –the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases — ratified the landmark climate agreement Sunday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed the pact on the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the independence from Britain. With India’s signature, 62 countries have signed the pact.

It will come into force legally after it is ratified by at least 55 countries between them that produce at least 55 percent of global carbon emissions.

The European Union has said it will ratify the pact next week, which will push it past the threshold. The 28 nations overall emit more gasses than India but are behind No. 1 China and No. 2 United States

China and the United States approved the accord last month.

India’s 1.2 billion people account for about 4.5 percent of worldwide emissions. The nation agreed to ensure that at least 40 percent of its electricity will be generated from non-fossil sources by 2030.

The Paris pact’s quest is to limit global warming to below two degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial times with a radical shift from the world’s reliance on fossil fuels.

India was reluctant initially to join the alliance because cheap coal is needed to meet its growing energy needs.

Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said Saturday drastic lifestyle changes are necessary.

“We want to say loud and clear that the Indian way of life, the Gandhian way of life, unless that lifestyle is adopted, we can have seminars and negotiations, but little will be achieved,” Dave said a day before India signed the pact.

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