The Indian government has sent the right signals before the World Summit on Sustainable Development (wssd) by approving the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol.
After the cabinet meeting which gave the go-ahead for the approval of the protocol, Union minister for information and broadcasting, Sushma Swaraj said the move will encourage other countries to join worldwide efforts to combat climate change.
She further said that it would help curb the negative impact of climate change on agriculture, increasing sea level, hydrological sources, forests and other ecosystem. "Ratifying the pact would give India access to the adaptation fund formed under the protocol to assist developing countries in adjusting to climate change," stated Swaraj.
Meanwhile, in Europe the latest nation to join the ratification list is Latvia. The Polish parliament, too, has approved the protocol but is still awaiting the President's signature. Estonia is expected to ratify by September and Lithuania before the end of the year. South Africa acceded to the pact on July 31, 2002.
Though India and several other central and eastern European countries have given their approval for the ratification of the protocol, the pact will not come into force in time for the informal deadline set for the WSSD. Because in order to be implemented, the pact requires ratification by at least 55 countries. This includes several industrialised countries, whose total emissions account for at least 55 per cent of emissions from all industrialised countries in 1990. Till now, 77 countries have ratified the Kyoto Protocol, but they account for only 36 per cent of the industrialised countries' carbon dioxide emissions in the year 1990.