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New Draft In Paris But Little Progress

Vishwa Mohan, Times of India

Climate negotiators released a new, shorter draft of an international accord to fight global warming on Wednesday, which still left many key issues unresolved just two days before the high-stakes talks in Paris are scheduled to end.

The new draft prompted protests at the venue from activists from developing countries because it continued to carry non-agreed options in each and every section of the proposed agreement, making the final shape of the deal still uncertain.

The 29-page text, down from the 48-page version released on Saturday, revealed that there has been little progress on the core issues of climate finance, long-term goals of the agreement, review and revision of INDCs (countries’ climate action plans), transparency as well as loss and damage.

In particular, the disagreement on climate finance showed that the rich nations continue to hold on to their purse strings, reluctant to commit to funds for poor countries unless there was a quid pro quo.

On the positive side, certain ‘brackets’ (disagreements) were removed as countries agreed over issues such as transfer of technology and capacity building. On both these points, the rich nations appeared willing to help their poorer counterparts. These were the two main points that helped shorten the text.

However, the draft still has 47 options and 366 brackets. Each option has many brackets, which means it contains unresolved points on proposals moved by many countries, including India, and different groups such as the G77 plus China and the US-led group of rich nations.

It is obviously going to be tough for negotiators to iron out so many different and agree on a final deal in time for the summit’s self-imposed deadline of Friday evening. Negotiators were scheduled to gather again at 8pm (12.30 am IST).

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