Washington, Sept. 28: The White House has lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement that India will ratify the Paris agreement on climate change on October 2, calling it "another example of his courageous leadership".
"We welcome the actions from the Indian government. It is just another example of the courageous leadership that Prime Minister Modi has shown on this issue. And that's to his credit," the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said on Tuesday. "He (Modi) recognises how important it is for India to be a leader in the international community on this issue. And he's making good on that priority, and he deserves a lot of credit for that...And I know that the President, when he met with Prime Minister Modi earlier this month in Laos, had an opportunity to thank him for his leadership on this issue."
India's ratification of the Paris agreement on climate change, which President Obama sees as his lasting legacy, is expected to bring the agreement closer to be being enforced. It can take effect only once 55 countries, representing 55 per cent of the world's greenhouse-gas emissions, ratify it. So far, 60 countries have done so, including the largest emitters, the US and China, fulfilling the first condition. India's ratification would bring it close to 52 per cent of the world's population, the World Resources Institute said.
"We have not put a firm deadline for ratification of the climate agreement, other than to say we expect the agreement to enter into force by the end of this calendar year. I don't know if it will be done by the first week in November," Earnest said when asked about the upcoming UN meet on climate change in Morocco in the first week of November. "However, as important as the Paris climate agreement is, and how significant it is that this agreement is going into effect within a year's time, it's only a starting point.