Barack Obama hails Modi after India ratifies Paris climate deal at UN

New Delhi: The US welcomed India’s ratification of the Paris climate agreement with President Barack Obama saying that by joining the pact Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Indian people have carried on Mahatma Gandhi’s legacy. “Gandhiji believed in a world worthy of our children. In joining the Paris Agreement, @narendramodi & the Indian people carry on that legacy,” Obama tweeted.

Obama, whose presidential term comes to an end in January next year, wants to be remembered as the president who saved the world from climate change and he played a significant role in concluding the Paris climate deal last year.

Obama and Modi, on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Laos last month, had discussed climate change issues as an immediate priority of Indo-US ties. Terming it as a “bold and decisive” step, US Ambassador to India Richard Verma in New Delhi also lauded India’s ratification of the Paris climate agreement.

“In joining the Paris climate agreement today, India has taken a bold and decisive step in combating climate change,” Verma said. He also commended Prime Minister Modi for his leadership and thanked all those who have worked on the agreement over many years. “India’s ratification provides indispensable political momentum to securing entry into force of the Paris Agreement this year, sending an enduring and irreversible market signal that low-carbon development is 21st century development,” Verma said.

“… (It) will yield tremendous benefits not only for producers and consumers in India, but for those around the world,” he said. India, the world’s third largest carbon emitter, today ratified the landmark Paris climate deal, giving a major boost to the deal which appeared tantalisingly close to enter into force by the end of this year. Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin handed over the Instrument of Ratification signed by President Pranab Mukherjee, to Santiago Villalpando, the Head of the Treaties Division at the UN, at a special ceremony here attended by top UN officials and senior diplomats to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s 147th birth anniversary.

“We look forward to continuing our close friendship with India and furthering our work together on climate change and clean energy, so that we may provide future generations a world to be proud of and treasure,” Verma said.

The ratification formalises pledges made by each country, including India, to take actions to curb or lower greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 onwards and try to keep the rise in average global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius and to strive for 1.5 degrees Celsius. India, the world’s third biggest carbon emitter after China and the US which are responsible for around 40 per cent of the global carbon emissions, accounts for 4.1 per cent of global emissions.