Winning India’s cooperation with cutting greenhouse gas pollution is a critical goal if we are to avert a climate crisis, as it is the fourth-largest emitter in the world. The rapidly developing country has resisted adopting strict pollution reduction targets for fear of slowing down economic growth.
Though India did sign the Paris agreement in April, there has been some question how quickly India will ratify and implement it.
Today, President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced an agreement to work together in implementing the Paris deal, including Modi’s commitment to work with his cabinet on ratification this year. The Hill reports, “India’s decision to do so, as well, greatly increases the chances the deal takes effect in 2016: the deal won’t formally kick in until countries representing at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions ratify it.”
The bilateral statement also includes plans for “an international agreement phasing out hydrofluorocarbons” this year. Politico notes, “experts believe a rapid phase down of HFCs could prevent a half a degree of more of warming.” Other elements of the agreement include address aircraft emissions and help with funding for producing clean energy in India.
Republicans long criticized Obama and others for trying to have America take the lead on climate change. While those on the left said if America leads, others with follow, naysayers on the right complained that Democrats were letting China and India off the hook. Now that Obama has forged climate deals with both China and India, the naysayers have been proven wrong.