At the Paris Climate Summit, a landmark achievement occurred today when technical negotiations officially closed, with the decision to send the draft climate agreement to ministers to use as the basis for negotiations. The French presidency now assumes the leadership of the 21st Conference of Parties which will get underway today.
Over the past week, the draft agreement has been somewhat streamlined and features bridging proposals which will help ministers work through the political issues underlying the deal, providing them with common-ground options from which they can begin their talks.
On the ground in Paris, CAN members made the following comments:
“What we saw yesterday was the spirit of the leaders come through. Over the past few days, we saw movement in the negotiating blocs, as different priorities emerged and the North-South dynamic has become more nuanced around most issues, except for finance, where that still is in play. Saudi Arabia is acting as a roadblock, while India is being a more constructive player in the talks. No doubt there will be drama over the next week or so, but there are landing zones visible. On the ratchet mechanism, as Facebook would say, it’s complicated. This is the least mature area of the negotiations, since we’re trying to do something fresh and new to create ambition in Paris. We know that the renewables revolution will proceed faster than we can imagine. We know extreme weather will become worse than we ever imagined. That’s why we need to make sure review our pledges before 2020, and keep from locking ourselves out of ambitious action.”
-Liz Gallagher, E3G
"Countries agree that there should be a global goal for adaptation included in any new climate deal. What we want is that the goal should be linked to science - by ensuring that actions do not allow global temperatures to increase beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius. Already - at one degree global temperature increase - we are seeing devastating impacts on vulnerable communities and ecosystems which is why countries are calling for strong decision on loss and damage. For many, this is a matter of survival."
-Sandeep Chamling Rai, WWF
“Finance is a core part of the UN climate framework and a key driver of the outcome. Without finance, there’s no support for the poorest and most vulnerable. There’s no just transition. There’s no motivation for developing countries to make ambitious commitments. Outside of a few pledges, developed countries aren’t coming forward to deliver plans, but we simply can’t expect ambition without some assurance that there will be assistance. On differentiation, developed countries have made it very clear that the old two-tiered system will not work. Developing countries have made it very clear that a system in which every country is the same is inequitable and unacceptable. We need a third way, a middle ground, which would need to be developed with a clear set of language, and could be based around indicators on responsibility and capacity.”
-Brandon Wu, ActionAid