India Says It Will Not Ratify Paris Agreement This Year

  • Date: 04/09/16
  • P Vaidyanathan Iyer, The Indias Express

This is the first time that India has explicitly said it would not be able to ratify the Paris Agreement by the end of this year.

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Modi leaves for Hangzhou from Hanoi, Saturday. (PTI Photo)

India has said it will not be able to commit to ratifying the Paris Agreement before the end of 2016, despite pressure from both the United States of America and China which decided to join the agreement on Saturday. The Paris Agreement requires member countries to make binding commitments to limit global temperature increase well below 2 degrees Celsius.

Sherpas of the 20 countries meeting at Hangzhou for three days, beginning 6 pm on August 31, remained huddled till almost 2.30 am on Saturday to reach an agreement on a draft of the G20 communique that would be presented to the heads of governments of the 20 countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Hangzhou for the G20 Summit late Saturday evening.

“We have sought flexibility. Yes, we are committed to ratifying it, but cannot complete the domestic procedures by 2016-end,” Arvind Panagariya, sherpa to Prime Minister Narendra Modi told The Sunday Express. The final G20 communique may address India’s concerns.

This is the first time that India has explicitly said it would not be able to ratify the Paris Agreement, finalised in December last year in the French capital, by the end of this year. Earlier statements, from ministers and officials, never ruled out this option, and the general refrain was that it would ratify the agreement as soon as possible.

The India-US joint statement during Modi’s trip to the US in June said both countries shared the goal of “enabling entry into force of the Paris Agreement as early as possible”.

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