Paris: Following two weeks of hectic deliberations the delegates from 196 countries at the climate change conference in Paris on Sunday adopted the first universal pact committing them to curb global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius and outline a roadmap to raise $100 billion annually towards a green fund for developing nations.
Paris Agreement, the 32-page accord, was declared adopted after French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, also the chair of the conference, struck the gavel.
The agreement`s main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Then there is is a firm commitment for countries to engage in a process on mitigation opportunities and put added focus on adaptation opportunities, with rich members working towards a clear path to outline a road map on raising the climate finance for developing countries to $100 billion annually by 2020.
Among the other decisions reached included a commitment that countries will submit updated climate plans -- nationally determined contributions -- every five years to steadily increase their long-term ambitions. India has already pledged to reduce the carbon intensity by 33-35 percent over 15 years.
Following the adoption of the Paris Agreement by the 21st Conference of Parties, it will be taken to the UN headquarters. Then on Earth Day, falling on April 22, 2016, it will be opened for the signatures of members for one year.
It will enter into force once 55 countries accounting for at least 55 percent of emissions ink it.
India's point of view:
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar felt the pact could have been more ambitious as the commitment from rich nations was "much below" what was expected of them, but felt the basic concept of common but differentiated responsibilities towards environment protecting was largely addressed.
"To achieve big things as there are languages and many issues, when 196 countries are putting their efforts together. One needs to be accommodative without changing the thrust of the agreement. We`ve done everything to maintain that thrust," Javadekar said.