The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to ratify the Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol on containing the emission of Green House Gases (GHGs). The Second Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 2012. So far, 65 countries have ratified the Second Commitment Period.
In view of the critical role played by India in securing international consensus on climate change issues, this decision further underlines India's leadership in the comity of nations committed to global cause of environmental protection and climate justice.
Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by India will encourage other developing countries also to undertake this exercise. Implementation of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects under this commitment period in accordance with Sustainable Development priorities will attract some 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. Recognising 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 undertake mitigation targets and to provide financial resources and transfer of technology to the developing nations.
Developing countries like India have no mandatory mitigation obligations or targets under the Kyoto Protocol.
Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 and the first commitment period was from 2008-2012. At Doha in 2012, the amendments to Kyoto Protocol for the Second Commitment Period (the Doha Amendment) were successfully adopted for the period 2013- 2020. Developed countries have already started implementing their commitments under the 'opt-in' provisions of the Doha Amendment.
India has always emphasised the importance of climate actions by developed country parties in the pre-2020 period. Besides, it has advocated climate actions based on the principles and provisions of the convention, such as the principle of Equity and Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities (CBDR and RC).