Paris climate conference extended by a day

By Editor


The climate conference here has been extended by another day, not for the first time at the conference of parties (CoP) seeking to narrow the difference between the developed and developing nations.

After what is being called a “hard night of negotiations”, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said a final text would be presented on Saturday to overcome some of the divisions which still were ruling among parties.

“We are in the final mode of what separates us from an ambitious, just and durable accord which the world awaits,” Fabius told the media after spending much of the night convincing parties to enter into a final give and take on climate decisions.

Fabius also revealed a second draft text, running into 27 pages, two pages less than the first one released on Wednesday, which saw some narrowing down of positions between the developed and developing countries.

The sticking points still seem to be on how much, and at what level, the developing countries must make the changes to tackle climate change. Also, how much money the developed world will commit to help the developing countries pay for the changes that would be required.

The accord aims to limit the global rise in temperature to less than 2 degrees centigrade since industrialisation started in the late 19th century.

The text also talks about setting up a mechanism through the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a UN body, to find out what would be needed to limit this cap to 1.5 degrees as demanded by island states.

The IPCC says that unless temperature rise — a direct result of human use of fossil fuels — was capped, catastrophic climate events were likely to take place in the next hundred years or so.

The globe has warmed 0.8 degrees since industrialisation.

The negotiators from 196 countries sat through the nights, with representatives of Group of 77 developing countries and China, plus island nations and least developed countries doing some hard bargaining with the Western world led by the US.

So far, it’s not clear if agreement can be reached even on Saturday on questions of money flow to the green fund or transfer of technology from the developed world to developing world to combat climate change.

However, some sort of agreement will emerge from Paris, showing possibly a compromise among nations.

Prakash Javadekar, the Indian minister of state for environment, forests and climate change, has said they were willing to agree as long as a “just and equitable” climate agreement was arrived at accepting the right of developing countries to grow.

He has also said that unless the money flows from the Western nations, “hollow slogans” would not help to reach a pact that was needed for the seven billion of Earth’s inhabitants.

Meanwhile, as the climate conference winds down in Paris, the security has been visibly stepped up.

According to police, this was just as a precaution that nothing untoward happens during the final two days.

The police presence is in very large numbers around the CoP21 venue and elsewhere. Security checks for entry into the venue have been tightened with officials checking the working of all equipment and liquids, which was not there since the beginning.

Normally, security is tightened at the end of climate conferences because several dozen heads of state or government arrive in the venue to give the negotiations a final push. But this time the leaders came in the beginning two days on December 30, reversing the process follow so far.

Hardev Sanotra / IANS

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