Skip to content

Ministers In Paris To Reboot UN Climate Talks Hit By Squabbling

|
Press Trust of India

PARIS: Foreign and environment ministers and other high-level officials from 45 countries are set to gather in Paris Monday seeking to re-energise climate talks mired in technical details and political squabbling.

Just four months ahead of a UN conference in the French capital tasked with producing a historic climate pact, US scientists this week said 2014 was a record year for sea level rise, land temperatures, and the greenhouse gases that drive dangerous global warming.

But overwhelming consensus on the urgency of the problem has not translated into significant progress on united action to prevent the planet from overheating.

“The negotiations have not, strictly speaking, begun yet,” Laurence Tubiana, France’s chief climate negotiator, told journalists this week.

Ministers meeting on Monday and Tuesday “have to take ownership of the content of the negotiation, otherwise their negotiators will not really be able to engage on the key political issues,” she said.

The political discussions will be followed in Bonn at the end of August with technical negotiations on the content of a draft agreement, with another ministers’ gathering slated for September.

The 32 foreign and environment ministers and 13 senior negotiators in Paris, working under the guidance of France’s chief diplomat Laurent Fabius, have their work cut out for them. A draft agreement emerging from earlier rounds is little more than an exhaustive laundry list of problems and options, and is too unwieldy, Tubiana said. […]

The Paris agreement will be supported by a roster of national emissions-­curbing pledges. Many parties ­­ including China, the United States and the European Union ­­ have already submitted their plans.

An internal briefing document identifies seven major sticking points, and urges diplomats to focus on two in particular, “ambition” and “differentiation”.

Poor nations say the West, which has polluted more for longer, should carry more of the burden for emissions cuts, but the US and other rich countries insist on equal treatment and point the finger to emerging economies like China and India now among the top emitters.

Full story