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Cabinet Approves Ratification of 2nd Period of Kyoto Protocol

The government of India has officially approved to ratify the Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol on containing the emission of Green House Gases (GHGs), becoming the 65th country to ratify the second commitment period of the Protocol that was adopted in 2012.

Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by India is believed to encourage other developing countries also to undertake this exercise as India’s implementation of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects under this commitment period in accordance with Suslainable Development priorities have attracted some major investments in India as well.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) seeks to stabilise Green House Gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would minimize interference with the climate system and India is one of the original nations to participate in the negotiations on Kyoto Protocol in Japan way back in 1996.

Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of Greenhouse Gas (GHGs) in the atmosphere, the Kyoto Protocol places commitments on developed nations to mitigate targets and to provide financial aid and transfer of technology to the developing nations. Developing countries like India have no mandatory mitigation obligations or targets under the Kyoto Protocol but have voluntarily set targets.

The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 and the first commitment period from 2008-2012 was renewed again after the talks at Doha in 2012, where the amendments to Kyoto Protocol for the second commitment period (the Doha Amendment) were successfully adopted. The second commitment period is from 2013 to 2020. Developed countries have already started implementing their commitments under the ‘opt-in’ provisions of the Doha Amendment.

India, which has emphasized the importance of climate actions by developed country Parties in the pre-2020 period, kept its commitment to advocate climate actions based on the principles of the Convention, such as the principle of Equity and Common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities (CBDR & RC).

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