A trimmed-down draft of a global agreement to limit climate change has been released after a week and a half of negotiations in Paris.
Draft climate change agreement released but many issues unresolved (AM)
But there are hundreds of points still being contested and the big issues are far from resolved.
Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has described it as “the beginning of the end of the negotiations.”
She has narrowed her focus to three major issues yet to be resolved — how ambitious it will be, how to balance responsibility between developed and developing countries and how the deal is financed.
The option of aiming to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius rather than the less ambitious 2C has not been yet ruled out.
The option of explicitly aiming to reach “zero net emissions” is still on the table, but the alternative on the table is a more ambiguous aim of “low global emissions”.
But the biggest battle remaining is how to balance obligations and responsibilities between developed and developing nations.
Clearly Australia’s view is that all countries need to take action, that there should be a level playing field.
Foreign Minster Julie Bishop.
This latest draft still includes the option of having different accounting systems for emissions for developed and developing countries, which is something Australia wants to see eliminated in these last days.
“That’s a very hardline position but there are some other bridging options that have been put forward, and clearly Australia’s view is that all countries need to take action, that there should be a level playing field and that’s what we’ll be looking for,” Ms Bishop said.
Negotiations on these issues will affect how much money advanced nations are ultimately willing to offer developing countries.
Up to $ US100 billion ($ 140 billion) has been pledged up to 2020 but the draft is currently silent on what the figure might be beyond that.
Whether advanced economies should pay loss and damages to other nations also remains unresolved.
French foreign minister Laurent Fabius has warned the clock is ticking.
“Some progress has been made, but there is still a lot of work to be done,” he said.
“We must prepare to be working all night and tomorrow, probably continuously.”
The self-imposed deadline for this deal is the end of the week but there is a universal expectation that talks will have to spill over into the weekend.
“There is still a lot of work to be done,” Ms Bishop said.
Topics: climate-change, government-and-politics, france, australia