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India set to sign climate change treaty on Friday

April 21, 2016 16:32 IST

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About 150 countries are expected to sign the agreement in New York on the same day.

India will sign the Paris Agreement on climate change on Friday in New York.

The Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved the matter.

The agreement was adopted by around 190 countries during the 21st Conference of Parties held in the French capital in December 2015.

According to a statement released after the Cabinet meeting, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar will sign the agreement on behalf of India on Friday at a high-level signature ceremony convened by the secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon.

“India had advocated a strong and durable climate agreement based on the principles and provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the agreement addresses all the important concerns and expectations of India,” it said.

About 150 countries are expected to sign the agreement in New York on the same day.

This will break the previous record of 119 signatures for an opening day signing for an international agreement, set by the Law of the Sea in Montego Bay in 1994.

The signing ceremony will mark the first step towards ensuring that the Paris Agreement enters into force as early as possible.

The agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification or acceptance with the UN secretary-general.

“The Paris Agreement on climate change is a milestone in global climate cooperation.

It is meant to enhance the implementation of UNFCCC and recognises the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities in the light of different national circumstances,” the statement noted, adding that it acknowledges the development imperatives of developing countries and their right to development.

It also recognises the importance of sustainable lifestyles and sustainable patterns of consumption with developed countries taking the lead and notes the importance of “climate justice”, which was raised by India, in its preamble.

Around 60 Heads of State and governments, including French President François Hollande, are expected to attend the signing ceremony in New York.

“The objective of the agreement further ensures that it is not mitigation-centric and includes other important elements such as adaptation, loss and damage, finance, technology, capacity building and transparency of action and support,” the statement added.

Noting that the pre-2020 climate actions are also part of the decisions, the statement said the developed countries should boost their level of financial support with a road map to achieve the goal of jointly providing $100 billion by 2020 for mitigation and adaptation.

OTHER APPROVALS

  • Expansion of the preferential trade agreement (PTA) with Chile, a move that would help in doubling of exports to the Latin American nation
  • Signing of an agreement with Bhutan on technical cooperation in capacity building, benchmarking and bilateral exchange in infrastructure engineering
  • Transfer of 59 acres belonging to Farakka Barrage Project to the Border Security Force for setting up a battalion centre in West Bengal’s Malda district
  • Agreement between the National Skill Development Corporation and Wadhwani Operating Foundation for co-operation in skill development and entrepreneurship
  • Commencement of academic session at new Indian Institute of Science Education and Research at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh
  • Transfer of 21.93 acres to the Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, Hyderabad, for a  campus of its agriculture college at Rajahmundry
Arup Roychoudhury in New Delhi
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