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Climate Change Conference

COP21, time is running out. Negotiations continue nonstop, day and night

Una nuova versione dell’accordo tra i 196 governi della Cop 21 è stata pubblicata mercoledì. Ancora molto il lavoro da fare nelle ultime ore di negoziati.

A new version of the draft agreement has been handed to COP21 President, Laurent Fabius, shortly after 3 p.m. on 9 December. Since then, the final rush has begun. Problems have to be solved by Friday as the latest, but there are still plenty of them, as demonstrated by 20-some options and 350 square brackets (indicating areas of disagreement).

 

 

The new version is made of 29 pages: it is thus a document significantly more simple than the previous versions. The team of 14 facilitators has worked on it during the night between Tuesday and Wednesday. Nevertheless, some key issues still need to be solved. First of all, funds. Secondly, the dates of the review of the INDCs, the pledges submitted by governments ahead of the conference to cut CO2 emissions. According to numerous NGOs (which can participate in negotiations at the request of ministers only), INDCs should be reviewed as soon as possible, whilst the draft agreement cites just a “facilitator meeting” to be held in 2018 and the effective revision just a few years later.

 

When INDCs will be reviewed is still unclear

Most important, all options on the main goal of COP21 are still present, i.e. if limiting the global average temperature rise to 2°C (as set ahead of the conference) or to 1.5°C (as asked by associations and countries most affected by climate change).

 

“The risk is to compromise on the agreement, and the result would be a deal unable to push the world in the right direction,” said the Réseau Action Climat. “Yes, options and square brackets have decreased. Yes, the possibility to limit the average global temperature rise to 1.5 hasn’t been cancelled. But funds and road maps to achieve the goals lack. And the review mechanism of INDCs is still too weak and delayed”.

 

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©Pascal Le Segretain / Getty

 

For all these reasons, as the coordinator Célia Gautier said, “the Paris agreement – if deprived of its vital functions – will favour those who fight for their right to pollute. A paper of that kind would be unacceptable”. “We’re still far from the objective, and there are only 24 hours left,” said François Juillard of Greenpeace.

 

The next few hours will be decisive for negotiations

Ermete Realacci, Honorary President of Legambiente, is more optimistic: “It’s pretty clear that the agreement won’t be perfect. But I believe it will be reached. This means that, at least, the world has taken the first step”. Moreover, Mariagrazia Midulla, Climate and Energy Responsible at WWF Italia, said that “We have all ingredients for positive results, but governments will have to work day and night to avoid the risk of a façade agreement”. Federico Brocchieri, Coordinator of the Italian Climate Network Project, underlined that “As for INDCs and funds, there’s still a lot to do. 100 billion dollars are needed, considering that only 10 billion have been found last year”.

 

 

A new version could be published today, 10 December. Facilitators continued to work until 5 a.m. and started again at 8 a.m. In any case, Fabius has more than once said that works must be imperatively ended by Friday. The next few hours will be decisive.

 

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