India’s crucial role in climate change negotiations is being appreciated worldwide
India approved the ratification of the Doha Amendment that binds certain developed countries to reduce their emissions of Green House Gases (GHGs) till 2020. India’s move was an example for other nations, especially the first world, to check global warming.
The decision to meet the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol was taken by the Union cabinet at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Kyoto Protocol, that was adopted in 1997 and came into force in February 2005, is an international agreement under United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which binds a certain group of “developed countries” (listed under Annexe-I) of its total 192 parties to reduce their emissions.
While the landmark Paris climate change agreement -- COP21, that entered into force in November 2016 (during COP22), is for the post-2020 period, the Kyoto Protocol is like the pre-2020 agenda to contain climate change.
“In view of the critical role played by India in securing international consensus on climate change issues, this decision further underlines India’s leadership, for the cause of environmental protection and climate justice,” an official statement said.
However, unlike the Paris Agreement, the Kyoto Protocol does not bind its “developing parties or counties” like India and China (based on the per capita emission) into any kind of obligation to reduce the emissions or set any targets. The targets are only applicable to the less than 40 countries listed in Annexe-I.
The US, which amounts for about 17 per cent of global emissions (the highest), was among the first developed countries to oppose the Kyoto Protocol and has not signed it yet. Canada, following the US, has also withdrawn from the Protocol.
Under the Doha Amendment, which should’ve become operational on January 1, 2013, the obligated parties are required to work towards reducing the GHG emissions by at least 18 per cent below 1990 levels, till 2020. Parties are also supposed to report a revised list of the GHGs during second commitment period.
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