India ratifies Paris climate agreement on Gandhi's birthday

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Screen-grab of India’s permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin, address to dignataries after submitting his country’s instrument of ratification of the Paris climate agreement on 2 Oct 2016.UN Photo/Webcast

India has formally joined the Paris climate change agreement, the country's permanent representative to the UN, has confirmed.

Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin submitted India’s instrument of ratification on Sunday to coincide with Mahatma Gandhi's birthday and the International Day of Non-Violence.

The Asian nation, which produces more than four per cent of global emissions, became the 62nd country to join the accord.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

Looking back, people today regard Mahatma Gandhi as an "avid and early environmentalist" according to India's Ambassador to the UN.

Climate change and sustainable development were not at the forefront of global conversations back when the leader of the non-violence movement was alive, Syed Akbaruddin noted.

Yet, Gandhi's emphasis on a simple lifestyle, love for nature and appreciation of natural resources, is a perfect example of what "low carbon footprint" means.

Ambassador Akbaruddin explains why India chose Gandhi's birthday to ratify the Paris climate pact.

"More than seven decades ago, Gandhi said and I quote: the Earth, the air, the land and the water, are not an inheritance from our forefathers, but on loan from our children. So, we have to hand over to them at least as it was handed over to us; this thinking is now mainstream."

India's ratification brings the Paris agreement a step closer to taking effect.

The key targets of the accord are to keep global temperature rises below two degrees Celsius.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’11”



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