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Climate deal takes shape as new draft released

December 9, 2015 4:20 pm

A new draft of the Paris climate change agreement has been delivered at the UN summit in the early hours of this morning.

After some delay, the French president of the climate change conference COP21, Laurent Fabius, released a shorter, cleaner version of the text which is now being poured over by negotiators.

At 29 pages, the new draft of the text is the shortest yet, and three-quarters of the square brackets, indicating sections to be resolved, have been removed.
Mr Fabius stressed it was not the final text and while progress had been made he said there was still a lot of work to do.

Negotiations were expected to run through the night as officials decided their position and, the French hosts hoped, their compromises.

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New Zealand Climate Change ambassador Jo Tyndall expected a bumpy road between now and the weekend, when it was hoped the final deal would be agreed.

“And a lot of scurrying around in the corridors, of course, as people try to find out what other people are thinking, is this going to be hugely controversial when we all meet together or are people generally happy with where the French have pitched the text that they have put together?”

While some areas of the agreement are close to being settled, the big issues that have been constant through the fortnight long conference remain the challenges for the coming days.

Mr Fabius said countries were near settlement on the wording on climate change adaptation which meant they could focus more on the disagreements over which countries should shoulder the cost of moving the world to a low-carbon energy system.

Mr Fabius said there was still work to do on climate finance and differentiation, or working out the different responsibilities of developed and developing nations.

The new text includes three options for limiting the global temperature rise: keep it below 2°C, keep it below 1.5°C, or – a compromise option – keep the rise below 2°C but scale up global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and try to keep the temperature rise to less than 1.5°C.

The French hosts have also decided to get parts of the text legally drafted as they are settled rather than wait for agreement on the whole text – a move intended to provide more time to negotiate.

The United Nations-set deadline for the deal to be settled is 6pm Friday (Paris time), but it is widely expected the conference will run over time.

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