Statement From Greenpeace India On The Signing Of The Paris Agreement At The UN

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Feature story - April 23, 2016
New York/ New Delhi |April 22 2016|Even as Officials from over 120 countries, including India, gather to sign the Paris Agreement today at New York, latest scientific data reinforces the urgency for action. The first three months of 2016 were the warmest on record - in February, temperatures were a staggering 1.35 degrees C above the long term average. The melting of the Greenland ice sheet is happening at an unprecedented rate. Closer home, in India, we are experiencing our hottest summer ever and millions of Indians are facing the consequences of a severe drought.

A statement released by Greenpeace India said “The signing of the Paris Agreement is an important and significant step in a new direction. We welcome India’s desire to be a solution provider. At the same time, it’s critical to remember that the agreement won’t take effect until at least 55 countries representing 55% of the world’s emissions ratify it. Keeping in mind the constructive and leadership role India seeks to provide in this global process, we would urge the Government of India to galvanise political support that ensures the ratification of the agreement at the earliest.”

At the CoP 21, India had committed to cut the rate of emissions relative to GDP by 33-35 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels. The country is planning to boost its energy production from non-fossil fuel sources (including the expensive and unsafe source of nuclear energy) to 40 percent of the total by 2030. In order to achieve this target, the government has set five-fold increase in renewable energy capacity by 2022 to 175 gigawatts. Besides this, India plans to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent through increasing forest cover by 2030.

India being an agrarian economy dependent on monsoons is one of the most vulnerable countries affected by climate change. In this context, besides steering the global community towards ratification and ensuring that the ambitious RE targets are realised, it’s critical that we also recognise the need to strengthen our resilience to climate impacts, by making sure that our our existing forests are protected from unfettered and destructive mining, our water sources are protected and our air is safe to breathe.