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Paris Endgame: US Joins Countries Trying To Isolate China And India

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Pilita Clark and Michael Stothard, Financial Times

The US has unexpectedly joined a large group of countries trying to isolate China and India in the tense home stretch of UN talks in Paris on a new global climate agreement.

The group, which has dubbed itself the “high ambition coalition”, claims to include about half the 195 nations involved in the two-week Paris meeting known as COP21, which is due to end on Friday.

“This is our moment and we need to make it count,” said Todd Stern, the US climate envoy, as he joined ministers from the EU, Latin America, Africa and Pacific islands at a news conference on Wednesday evening to demand that the new accord contain measures that China, India, Saudi Arabia and other nations are trying to resist…

“There are some countries here who are not in the coalition and, indeed, would seek a more minimal outcome,” said Mr Stern, declining to single out countries by name.

But the nations identified themselves later in the night when delegates met to consider the latest version of the draft accord produced during the day, a 29-page document riddled with competing options on a slew of contentious issues. […]

John Kerry, the US secretary of state, had tried to ease concerns about financial aid earlier in the day with a vow that by 2020, Washington would have doubled the $430m it delivered in 2014 to help poor countries adapt to climate change.

But Mr Javadekar warned that a lasting climate accord “cannot be crafted by diluting historical responsibilities or by putting the polluters and the victims at the same level”.

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