Paris Climate Talks Enter Overtime, Make Progress

PMB-in-Paris-2A “COMMON but differentiated responsibilities” package became the focus of negotiations as United Nations climate change talks continued late last night into this morning, and a day after the summit was supposed to end.

After days of ministerial consultations, a new shorter draft incorporating many key issues was released with 27-page draft two days ago, two pages shorter than a previous one, and incorporates major progress as well as differences. Yesterday morning, the ministers left the Convention, after all night negotiations. They are supposed to resume work on the final text by 9pm.

The main issues at stake includes finance and ambition or setting long-term goal, which needs to be discussed in the coming hours. 

The draft was presented to the ministers by COP 21 President and French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius. 

“I would like you (nations) to look at the document in a new perspective with final agreement in mind. We want an agreement. We are extremely close to finishing line. Is time to come to an agreement,” Fabius said.

The  “common but differentiated of responsibilities” was built into the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which required developed countries to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions but required more or less nothing of developing countries. 
However, the developed countries want other big emitters in developing countries to be contributors of the $100 billion of climate finance a year the agreement plans of making available by 2020. The large developing countries at who this is aimed at, like India, has been adamant.

Meanwhile, commenting on the new draft, one of the Nigerian negotiators, Prof. Babajide Alo of University of Lagos, said: “It is comforting that we are inching towards a Paris Agreement. The whole world is waiting for a Paris Agreement. 

“Nigeria and the G77 are fairly comfortable with the text so far. Let us hope that in the next few hours, compromises will come over the remaining contentious issues of differentiation, ambition and remaining square brackets in finance. The minister, Mrs. Amina Mohammed is rightly pushing for a 1.5oC goal.”

The Programme Leader, Climate Diplomacy E3G, Liz Gallagher said: “Significant progress has been made, but this is not the final outcome. It’s a text and it’s still in play, but it is a text to defend and strengthen.”


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