The 23rd annual conference of the parties (COP) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) kicked off in Bonn, Germany on 6 November 2017 with the aim to hold to the path of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
The conference would be held from 6 November till 17 November 2017. India at the summit firmly asserted its stand, saying it considers climate change as a major threat and will play a positive and constructive role in combating it. This was stated by Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan while inaugurating the India Pavilion at the summit.
India’s theme for COP 23 is ‘Conserving Now, Preserving Future’. The Minister noted that solving the crisis of climate change is not a question of politics but a moral obligation. He said, although India's per capita emissions are only one-third of the global average, and its contribution to global stock of carbon dioxide is less than three per cent, it has still moved ahead with the implementation of path-breaking initiatives.
Besides this, India also called for early time-bound ratification of second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (KP II) by developed countries to ensure the highest possible mitigation efforts under the UN Convention by all countries.
The minister further stated that India has been ambitious in its climate change actions and expects other countries to be ambitious based on their historical responsibility on the basis of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities.
He also said contributions of citizens, sustainable lifestyles and climate justice provides an alternative means to address climate change which must be rigorously pursued.
The conference takes place against the backdrop of several destructive natural events including hurricanes, forest fires, floods, droughts, melting of ice and impacts on agriculture that have impacted the food security of nations across the world.
The Paris Agreement, which was adopted in December 2015 by over 190 countries, mainly aims to prevent an increase in global average temperature and keep it well below 2 degree Celsius.
Earlier two countries, Nicaragua and Syria, had abstained from signing the accord. Recently, US also announced its decision of withdrawing from the agreement.
Nicaragua has however, signed the accord now, leaving the US and Syria as the only two holdouts on the global climate pact.