Scepticism at Paris talks amid slow pace of proceedings

03 December 2015

There was an air of scepticism at the Paris climate talks yesterday with negotiators adding a new agenda for a likely international agreement to cope with global warming.

French foreign minister and president of the conference, Laurent Fabius, expressed concern over the negotiations proceeding at a slow pace in the different auxiliary groups with each one discussing a contentious issue for the Paris deal.

According to Indian representatives, differences between various teams had widened since Monday when 154 heads of state struck a conciliatory note.

''I will urge the negotiators to speed up the resolution of differences to have a text for political discussion starting next week,'' the minister told reporters.

Fabius had called on interlocutors for submission of ''consensus'' draft by Saturday for final discussions by ministers next week.

Among contentious issues there is the review mechanism for climate action plan 2030 of every country, higher ambition from the developed world as also a clear road map for climate finance after 2020. While rich countries had committed $100 billion by 2020, they had not promised anything beyond that period.

''We are still at an early stage where there are difficulties and possibility of resolution. It is too early in the day to say what would be there in the final agreement,'' said Ajay Mathur, chief spokesperson of India's climate negotiating team. ''We are here to negotiate and we are talking to narrow down differences''.
Meanwhile, as reports surged that it would be singled out over its expansion plans for coal usage to meet its energy demands, India today made it clear that development of solar and wind energy would continue to be its commitment followed by hydro and nuclear power while the rest would be from coal.
"We have made it very clear that solar and wind are our first commitment. Hydro, nuclear - all of these non-carbon sources are what we will develop to the largest extent that we can. What cannot be met by these will be met by coal," India's key negotiator Ajay Mathur said at the UN climate conference.

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