Paris UN climate conference 2015: World on the cusp of historic deal

The Arc de Triomphe roundabout painted yellow by climate change activists during the Paris conference. Photo: Greenpeace via APThe world is on the cusp of an historical agreement to tackle climate change after the French organisers of the Paris summit released the final wording of a deal, mapping out compromises on the key disputes that had divided countries.

Almost 200 nations will now have much of Saturday to work through the final version and seek any last minute changes.

But observers said that significant progress had been made overnight Friday to bring together battling superpowers from the developed and developing world – in particular, the United States, China and India.

It follows several sleepless nights of negotiations between ministers, and last-minute phone conversations between world leaders, including US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

The final agreement is due to be put to nations for sign off during a plenary meeting scheduled to begin at 5.30pm Paris time (3.30am AEDT).

If passed, it would be the first deal on climate change since the Kyoto Protocol 18 years ago – and the first ever that required all countries to address the problem.

The summit’s hosts, French President François Hollande and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, received rousing applause as they announced the draft to the conference on Saturday morning.

Mr Fabius said he believed the text struck a “powerful, yet delicate” balance, and that each delegate could return to their country “with their head held high having achieved something important”.

He reminded delegates of the 2009 Copenhagen meeting, where countries had failed to get a global agreement. He said if that was to happened again “trust in the very ability of the concert of nations to get a solution to climate change would irrevocably be lost”.

“We need to show the world our collective effort is worth more than the sum of our individual actions,” Mr Fabius said.

Mr Hollande appealed to delegates to secure an agreement, reminding delegates of the terrorist attacks just weeks before the summit that killed 130.

He said those present at the talks “had the opportunity to change the world”. “You have to take this opportunity, to grasp it, so that our planet may live a long time, that we may live a long time,” he said.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the conference that the countries before him had come to a defining moment “on a long journey that dates back decades”.

“The document with which you have just been presented, is historic. It promises to set the world on a new path, to a low emissions climate resilient future,” he said.

“Let us now finish the job. The whole world is watching.”

The final positions on major issues in the final draft include: An aim to keep global warming well below two degrees above pre-industrial levels, with an endeavour to keep it below 1.5 degrees.A long term goal to peak greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and then make rapid reductions so as to bring the net total to zero in the second half of this century.Targets that have been pledged by countries to cut emissions to be reviewed every five years, with the first to be carried out in 2020. Changes can only make the targets more ambitious.Climate funding of US$100 billion ($139 billion) a year to be available to poorer nations by 2020, with a new, larger number to be delivered by 2025.That each country report on their emissions and make available information needed to track how they a progressing on the pledged climate action.

Countries would not be set emissions reduction targets under the Paris agreement, rather they would pledge their own goals.

So far 187 countries have already done this. However, the collective action has been estimated to put the world in a path to keep global warming to 2.7 degrees, well beyond the stated goals of the text. Environmentalists have therefore emphasised the importance of having a strong review system under a new agreement to put pressure on governments to lift their ambition.

Over the course of two weeks of negotiations, divisions emerged over providing financial help to poorer nations to cope with climate change, the long-term ambition of the agreement, how often country’s emissions targets should be reviewed, and how progress on pledges would be monitored.

Underpinning this has been broader battle between industrialised nations, including the US and Australia, and the large emerging economies of China, India, Brazil and South Africa.

Industrialised countries have been pushing to breakdown a divide over what is expected of developed and developing nations that has existed under the UN climate talks since they began in 1992. The large emerging economies have sort to maintain some of that firewall.

At the same time, the negotiations have had to factor in the circumstances of every other country, from the least developed African countries, to vulnerable small islands states, to forested South America nations.

The agreement will come into effect from 2020 once 55 parties accounting for at least 55 per cent of global emissions ratify it.

With the US on board this time, it is expected to get a faster track than the Kyoto Protocol, which ended up hinging on Russian ratification after the Americans – and Australia under the government of John Howard – refused to join.

Nathaniel Keohane, vice president of global climate for the US-based Environment Defense Fund, said the agreement had all the elements for a strong outcome.

These include good ambition, the involvement of all parties to take steps to cut emissions, and the basis for better transparency.

“We’re getting past the old world of having one approach for some countries and one approach for others,” Mr Keohane said. Fairfax Media is a global partner of the UN Foundation

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 老域名购买.

Posted in: 老域名