India cheered as delegates from 196 countries at the climate change conference in Paris, adopted the first universal pact to curb global warming below 2 degrees Celsius and create a roadmap to raise $100 billion annually towards a green fund for developing nations. The 32 page accord was reached after two weeks of talks and some sleepless nights, and declared adopted after French Minister Laurent Fabius ceremonially struck the gavel.
India welcomed the pact calling it balanced and covering most concerns. President Francois Hollande who earlier in the day had called up PM Narendra Modi for his support, was delighted at the achievement.
Following the adoption of the Paris Agreement under the aegis of the UN Convention on Climate Change, it will be taken to the UN headquarters and on April 22, 2016, Earth Day, it will be opened for the signatures of members for one year. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said this is the first time every country in the world has pledged to curb emissions, and join in the common cause to take climate action – a sign of success for multilaterilism.
India’s Environment and Foreign Minister Prakash Javadekar felt the pact could have been more ambitious as the commitment from rich nations was ‘much lower’ that expected, but the basic concept of common responsibilities toward environment protection was largely addressed.
India’s position as a key member of a number of groups on climate change was evident at the conference, as even US President Barack Obama called PM Modi to ensure that Paris delivers a deal.