India, which has gone back and forth over whether it would formally join a hard-fought international climate change agreement, will finally do so—and on a very special day.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in a speech at his BJP party council meeting that India will ratify the Paris Agreement on Oct. 2, the birth anniversary of Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi.

”The human race has only now realized the disastrous impact of our material development on the nature,” Modi said, noting that climate change poses an extreme threat to coastal countries and cities.

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“We need to play a part,” Modi said. “On Oct. 2, we will ratify it. Mahatma Gandhi’s life left perhaps the least carbon footprint on Earth. We follow his ideals, and India will play its part in ratifying the Paris Agreement.”

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So far, 60 countries including the world’s top two carbon polluters — China and the United States — have ratified the agreement that was adopted by 195 countries in Paris in December. The pact will come into force after it is ratified by 55 countries representing 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. India accounts for about 4.5 percent of global emissions, according to The Hindu.

Reprinted with permission from E&E Publishing

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