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New shorter draft of accord on climate change released

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10 December 2015

Raising hopes of a landmark climate deal, negotiators yesterday produced a new shorter draft incorporating major progress, as also the differences, two days ahead of the deadline for the UN accord on curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius released the first draft of the Paris Outcome, put together after two days of high-level ministerial deliberations. The draft would be discussed by 196 nations further to reach a final agreement for tackling the climate change challenge.

The draft negotiating text, which was "shorter" from the earlier version and which now runs into 29 pages was circulated among all the negotiating countries.

Elaborating on the draft text, Fabius, who is the chair of the current round of climate negotiations, said the aim of the text was to enable nations to have an overall view of the progress that had so far been made. "It (draft text) is shorter than the previous version of 48 pages. It is 29 pages long now. There has been three quarter reduction in points that were there in the bracket," he said.

"The aim of the text is to enable us (nations) to have an overall view of the progress made," he said, adding the document revealed "emerging compromises" that would need to be made in order to clinch the historic agreement to rein in heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions that warm the planet.

Earlier, ministers of 196 countries at the Paris climate talks yesterday could not achieve a consensus on tricky aspects of a roadmap to curb global warming, which highlighted the massive differences between the developed and developing nations.

The issues, on which no consensus could be arrived at were specifics of differentiation, climate finance, long-term temperature goal and review mechanism.

''The draft reflects the stand of all countries and the real fight will start now,'' said Srinivas Krishnaswamy of Vashudha Foundation. Sanjay Vashisth of Climate Action Network South Asia added that the text failed to narrow down options on climate finance and differentiation.

According to Jennifer Morgan of World Resources Institute, the text showed that the newly formed high ambition coalition of rich and most vulnerable nations was at play with draft providing clarity on adaptation and capacity building.

Environment minister Prakash Javadekar termed the next 48 hours as ''crucial'' to settle an agreement in Paris before heading for a meeting of Like Minded Developing Countries to strategise for the next two days.

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius called on ministers to work overnight and today with the spirit of ''compromise''.

Indian negotiators expressed satisfaction as all issues, including right to carbon space and differentiation, in all elements of the agreement were ''adequately'' addressed in the highly bracketed text.

According to commentators, what could be disheartening for India was the year of review for climate action plans called INDCs, which India was seeking only in 2030, would be 2021.





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