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'Not possible in 2016', says India as China, US ratify Paris climate deal; UN chief asks nations to accelerate efforts

India on Saturday said it has warded off pressure from the US and China to set this year as the deadline to ratify the Paris Climate Agreement.

India TV News Desk, Beijing [ Updated: September 04, 2016 6:51 IST ]
Ban Ki-moon, Xi Jinping and Barack Obama
Image Source : AP Ban Ki-moon, Xi Jinping and Barack Obama

A cautious India on Saturday said it has warded off pressure from the US and China to set this year as the deadline to ratify the Paris Agreement, even as the two countries set aside their differences and ratified the climate deal ahead of the G20 summit in Hangzhou. 

India besides several other countries felt that they can not ratify the Paris Agreement due to various legal impediments, the Vice Chairman of NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog, Aravind Panagariya said here.

"There is no deadline to my mind but we will make submissions of progress," said Panagariya, summing the feeling of India and many other countries in this regard.

The joint statement to be released at the end of the G20 summit on September 5 will take into consideration the difficulties in this regard, he said.

Panagariya said besides the climate change, the draft joint statement also refers to refugees, terrorism and anti- microbial resistance.

"My stand is we could not commit for 2016," Panagariya, India's official representative at the G20 summit, said.

His comments came as China and US in a bid to put pressure on other countries ratified the deal and handed over their countries' instruments of joining the Paris Agreement separately to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The UN Secretary General commended the US and China for ratifying the Paris climate change deal even as he asked other nations to accelerate national efforts to join the ambitious pact to ensure that it comes into force by the end of this year. 

"Together, China and the United States, the world's two largest greenhouse gas emitters, represent nearly 38 per cent of global emissions. Now, by formally joining the Paris Agreement, you have added powerful momentum to the drive for the Agreement to enter into force this year," the UN chief said at a ceremony. 

Ban congratulated Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama as he received the legal instruments for joining the Paris Agreement from the world's two largest greenhouse gas emitters. 

The UN chief urged all countries to accelerate their national efforts to join the Paris Agreement so that it comes into force by the end of 2016. 

In the ceremony, Ban noted that another 29 countries representing 16 per cent of global emissions are required to bring the Paris Agreement into force. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping said that climate change concerns the well-being and future of humanity.

The Paris Agreement has charted the course for post-2020 global cooperation against climate change, and it indicates that a cooperative, win-win, equitable and fair climate governance mechanism is being shaped.

Under the Paris Agreement, countries are required to set national targets for reducing or reining in their greenhouse gas emissions. 

Those targets aren't legally binding, but countries must report on their progress and update their targets every five years.

The state-run Xinhua News Agency reported Saturday that China's legislature had voted to formally enter the agreement. In the U.S., no Senate ratification is required because it is not considered a formal treaty.

Depositing the documents together, China and the US have displayed their ambition and determination to jointly tackle a global challenge, Xi said.

Developed countries should honour their commitments and provide financial and technological support to developing countries and enhance their capability in climate actions, Xi added.

So far, a total of 26 countries, accounting for 39 per cent per cent of global emissions have now officially joined the Paris Agreement, which 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 Secretary-General. 

Ban particularly lauded Obama for his leadership on climate change and working with other nations to reach a deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions. 

"While we were waiting, he asked me what I want to do after retirement. Well, Mr President, I am going to write some memoir: one of the many important, inspiring thing will be my inspiring moment of President Obama's leadership (in Copenhagen)," Ban said. 

"Have you ever imagined the President of the United States, holding his own laptop, going around the Heads of State sitting in a small chair, proposing a draft and changing it on the spot? I would have never expected that the US President would do that and I was so much inspired. He inspired everybody," he said. 

On September 21, the Secretary-General will host a high-level event at the UN to provide an opportunity for countries to deposit their legal instruments and to publicly commit to joining the Paris Agreement before the end of 2016. 

The event will build on the "strong political momentum" from Paris for urgent global action on climate change by all countries, which is essential for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and creating a more prosperous, equitable and liveable future for all people, he said. 

"I urge all leaders, particularly G20 countries, to accelerate their domestic ratification processes so we can turn the aspirations of Paris into the transformative climate action the world so urgently needs," Ban said. 

The two day G20 summit to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will kick off here today.

G20 members include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States and the European Union.

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