Paris Climate Agreement enters into force, green bodies welcome move

New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) As the Paris Climate Agreement entered into force on Friday, India and other participating countries marked the occasion with displaying an illuminated ‘Smiley’ emoticon with the slogan “We Did It” on important buildings. Green organisations like TERI and CSE lauded the move.

India ratified the Paris Agreement on October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

On October 5, the threshold for entry into force of the Paris Agreement was achieved with total 55 parties (countries or unions) that contribute to at least 55 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions, ratifying the agreement.

So far 97 of total 193 signatory parties of the convention, accounting for 66 per cent of global emissions, have ratified the agreement.

The 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) was held in November-December 2015 in Paris, where 192 parties, including India, adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal, out of the total 197 parties to the convention.

The agreement was earlier supposed to enter into force in 2020.

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) welcomed the enforcement of the Paris Agreement.

Director General, TERI, Ajay Mathur said the swift coming into force of the Paris Agreement reflects the changed sensibilities across the world in addressing climate change, and the wide appreciation of the need to act expeditiously.

“The Agreement is inclusive, recognizing the development imperatives of nations like India and the developing world,” Mathur said in a statement.

“It is just, upholding and operationalizing the principles of common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities. The Agreement demonstrates that development and protecting the climate are not competing goals,” he added.

Climate Change expert from Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), Chandra Bhushan, also welcomed the enforcement of the Paris Agreement and termed it an important step.

“Since Paris Agreement has come to force, now the hard work on dealing with the issues of climate change will start. Important negotiations have to take place on making the procedure outcome based,” Chandra Bhushan said.

He also stressed on the involvement of citizens in climate change awareness.

The first session of the COP serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA1) will take place in Morocco at COP22 and CMP 12 (Parties to the Kyoto Protocol).

The COP22 will be held from November 7 to 18 in Marrakesh, Morocco.

The Smiley Image has the globe as the background. Along with the image, “Paris agreement – We did it – #SmileforthePlanet” will be displayed on one side of the Ministry’s building in the evening on Friday, to celebrate the Paris Agreement.

Indira Paryavaran Bhawan will be displaying the symbol in India.

The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.