Climate Change: New draft out, final deal on Saturday

RSTV Bureau

AP11_30_2015_000027BAfter another night-long negotiation session at the Climate Change summit in Paris, a new shorter draft has been released which is said to be much closer to the final deal. But the negotiating envoys, who were racing against time, had no option but to push the final climate deal to Saturday, December 12, a day after the deadline ended.

“It was a long and intensive night of work. This allowed us to make progress…Things are moving in the right direction…we are extremely close to the finishing line,” said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

Sources have revealed that the final UN climate-saving deal “will be presented Saturday morning for adoption midday”.

The 27-page draft, two pages shorter than a previous one, was released on Thursday by Fabius, after two days of ministerial consultations.

This draft seems to have included several issues raised by India. Issues like “sustainable lifestyle”, principles based on equity and common but differentiated responsibilities as is there in the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) have all been included.

“On the eve of the stated end of our conference, we can move to a decisive step to reach a final agreement. I am submitting a new draft to you (nations),” Fabius announced at the 195 nation UN summit.

“The document is slightly shorter. There are some brackets. Some complex issues still remain brackets like finance, differentiation and ambition which needs to be discussed in the coming hours,” he explained.

Sources in the Indian government have revealed that though many issues voiced by India have been included in the new draft, there are still many more issues to be worked out.

Earlier, during negotiations, India had attacked the developed countries for adopting “extravagant” lifestyles compared to its “need based consumption”. India said that only “sustainable” lifestyles can mitigate the climate change challenge.

However, several environmental groups said that the new draft “is not good enough” and it will be difficult for the ministers to resolve the final outstanding issues.

“It’s a very big problem that the emissions targets on the table will not keep us below 1.5 degrees of warming and this draft deal does absolutely nothing to change that. Right now we’re witnessing a display of international impotence,” said Martin Kaiser of the Greenpeace.

“This text should say that countries have to come back soon with better numbers but instead it kicks that can down the road, saying we’ll sort it in ten or fifteen years. That’s too late, they’re closing the door on our best chance to dodge dangerous warming,” an outraged Kaiser added.

“The clock is ticking and ministers need to resolve the final outstanding issues….The current options provide no hope for people who will suffer the impacts of climate change the hardest,” said Tasneem Essop, WWF’s head of delegation to the UN climate talks in Paris.

Over 195 nations are battling it out in the negotiations at the COP21 (Conference of Parties) in Paris to reach a global deal to tackle climate change and curb emissions.

(With inputs from PTI)