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Differences persist as nations struggle to reach accord at COP21

12 December 2015

With significant differences among nations and just 24 hours to go, negotiators at COP21 on Thursday night struggled to reach a deal as the US pressed India on the use of coal and French president Francois Hollande accepted ''difficulties'' over financing and compensation for loss and damage.

After 11 days of hard negotiations over a draft, representatives of 195 countries worked hard in the night to sort out differences over emissions from coal, oil and gas that could worsen environment for future generations. After US president Barack Obama had a telephonic talk with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, secretary of state John Kerry visited the India pavilion at the CoP21 to discuss with environment minister Prakash Javadekar.

Though both leaders declined to go into the specifics of the divergences, Javadekar said the meeting was ''productive'' and expressed hopes for ''more convergence'' over the draft of the climate accord.
''The meeting was productive. It was to bring about solutions. Our negotiating teams are working on languages. We are hopeful that there will be more convergence emerging. We discussed all issues of differentiation, nature of agreement, finance and technology apart from the issue of harmony with decision (text),'' Javadekar said after meeting Kerry, PTI reported.

''We have discussed all issues and whatever the differing views on different positions and we are working toward… because we want Paris to succeed. We want future generations to get a right and good deal from Paris and to that end we work, and I think today's meeting was a productive meeting,'' he said.

Earlier, India late Thursday said several of its concerns, including voluntary pledges of nations on climate change, had not been incorporated in the new draft which "is the starting point for the final push" as negotiators raced against time to reach an accord to fight global warming.

India further said the goal of capping global warming at 1.5 degree Celsius from pre-industrial times would require developed countries to "massively" cut their emissions and "scale up" the financial support to developing countries.

"I must stress that the concept of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) is a great innovation and has proved a game-changer. It has enabled the participation of over 186 countries. Yet, INDCs are not even mentioned in the draft," PTI quoted Javadekar as saying.

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