Climate talks run overtime to reach deal amid differences

"I will not present the text Friday evening, as I had thought, but Saturday morning," Laurent Fabius, French Foreign Minister said.

December 11, 2015 05:54 pm | Updated November 28, 2021 07:43 am IST - Le Bourget

A participant holds a poster during the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference in Le Bourget,  France.

A participant holds a poster during the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference in Le Bourget, France.

Differences on key issues like emission norms and funding persisted but the climate change conference decided to sit one extra day on Saturday to wrap up a deal on a draft that showed progress on other crucial aspects.

The high-stakes parleys on Friday stretched to allow negotiators to find a common ground on sticky issues like the differentiation between developed and developing nations and providing finance to the countries hit by the impacts of rising temperatures.

“I will not present the text Friday evening, as I had thought, but Saturday morning,” Laurent Fabius, Foreign Minister of the host France, told a local TV channel.

“There is still work to do... Things are going in the right direction,” Fabius, who is chairing the summit here, said on BFM television, adding that “the atmosphere is good, things are positive“.

One of the diplomats said: “Negotiators pushed through a long night of intense talks. Informal discussions will be ongoing throughout the day, with new text expected by tomorrow morning. At this point, time is of the essence.”

On Thursday night, a new, shorter draft incorporating many key issues raised by countries like India was unveiled after intense negotiations. All-night negotiations failed to mend the rifts that have endured for more than two decades.

The final draft agreement to be reached by 195 nations to curb greenhouse gases seems close at hand, with negotiators burning midnight oil to sort out differences over emissions from coal, oil and gas that could worsen environment for future generations.

In a last-ditch effort to reach a historic deal — that has so far been elusive — and avert a repeat of the 2009 Copenhagen summit that failed miserably, delegates broke into smaller groups to mend their differences.

Key issues like differentiation, ambition and finance were discussed and efforts were ongoing to reach a consensus.

Many of the issues raised by India have found its place in the new 27-page draft text — two pages shorter than the previous — but there were topics still to be resolved.

There are still considerable difficulties about issues including climate finance and the question of demarcation between developed and developing countries.

Key issues which India has raised like “sustainable lifestyle”, principles based on equity, and common but differentiated responsibilities as mentioned in the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) find a place in the draft.

India had earlier attacked the developed countries for adopting “extravagant” lifestyles compared to its “need based consumption” and has been asserting that only “sustainable” lifestyles can mitigate the climate change challenge.

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