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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Tuesday, October 16, 2018

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Global climate deal close in sight at Paris

We want an agreement

Share on Facebook December 11, 2015, Reporter : BigNewsNet, Reader : 880

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LE BOURGET, France, 11 Dec: Representatives of governments from around the world were close to hammering out a climate change agreement in Paris as they went into closed door negotiations early morning Friday on how to share the burden of fighting climate change and keep rising temperatures in check.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, the chairman of the global climate talks in Paris, announced that negotiators were on the cusp of an agreement.

"We want an agreement, we are extremely close to that goal," Fabius told delegates as negotiations continued at a conference centre on the outskirts of Paris.

With an agreement in sight to keep temperature rises in check and avoid dangerous global warming, Fabius called for a second all-night session of negotiations to try to bring 20 years of rollercoaster diplomacy to a successful close.

Fabius also presented a new draft of a global climate accord that showed headway on some key issues but a stalemate on others.

The 27-page draft two pages shorter than a previous version included a long-term goal of keeping global warming "well below" 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees F), while pursuing efforts to limit the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees C.

The draft also said governments would aim to peak the emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases "as soon as possible" and strive to reach "emissions neutrality" by the second half of the century.

The Paris conference was scheduled to end on Friday.

"I think, I hope that by the end of this night we'll have a draft of the final text," Fabius said. "We are much closer."

Diplomats from 196 governments are trying to forge a global pact in Paris to slow global warming by collectively slashing emissions, mostly from the burning of fossil fuels like oil, coal and gas for energy.

The biggest challenge is to define the responsibilities of wealthy nations, which have polluted the most, and developing economies including China and India where emissions are growing the fastest.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said the talks are "getting down to the critical stage," as he held meetings Thursday with top officials from two major developing nations Brazil and India and other negotiators.

The Obama administration is working for a deal that reflects its concerns about global warming but doesn't require approval from the Congress.

A bloc of countries that includes India, China and Saudi Arabia have put up strong resistance against attempts by the US, the European Union and other wealthy nations to make emerging economies pitch in to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and help the poorest countries cope with climate change.

The issue is expected to be one of the last to be resolved.

Campaign groups said the draft was a huge disappointment when it came to recognising irreversible effects, such as land loss and migration.

"The current options provide no hope for people who will suffer the impacts of climate change the hardest," according to WWF.

Christiana Figueres, the United Nations climate chief, said she remained confident negotiators were closing in on a fair and ambitious agreement but there were still big gaps.> BNN

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