India on Saturday said it needs more time to ratify the Paris climate change agreement, and will be unable to do so this year, The Indian Express reported. Earlier in the day, both the United States and China had signed the international accord, which seeks a commitment from countries to stop global temperatures from increasing beyond two degrees Celsius. The announcements came as the member countries met for the G20 summit in Hangzhou.
Sherpa to the Prime Minister Arvind Panagariya said the country is committed to joining the international accord, but has ‘sought flexibility’ in the matter. The agreement was finalised in December, but India had so far not put out an official statement on when it would ratify it, the English daily reported. At least 55 countries that account for 55% of the world’s harmful emissions need to ratify the accord before it comes into effect.
The sherpas of the 20 nations have been working together in Hangzhou for the past three days, and the heads of state have been slowly making their way to the event. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Hangzhou on Saturday evening.