French FM: Time to compromise for climate

2015-07-21 13:31

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Paris - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius urged top diplomats from 45 nations on Monday to "start looking now for compromise" in forging a global climate rescue pact.

"Our negotiators are being stymied by political questions they can't always resolve at their level" of authority, he told foreign and environment ministers gathered in Paris to give a boost to the flagging process.

"We ministers have to start looking now for compromise on the big political issues," he added.

"That's how the negotiations are going to move forward."

Paris will host a 195-nation UN climate conference from November 30 to December 11 which will be tasked with hammering out a worldwide deal to hold dangerous global warming in check.

Carbon emissions

The current draft of the accord is an unwieldy, 80-page laundry list of sticking points and options, France's top negotiator, Laurence Tubiana, told journalists last week.

Underscoring the urgency of the task, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported on Monday that the first half of 2015 was the hottest on record.

Fabius urged ministers and senior officials to narrow the gap on two issues in particular, starting with the level of ambition - a term meaning the scale of curbs in carbon emissions.

The UN has enshrined a goal of limiting average global warming to 2°C over pre-industrial levels. Scientists say disastrous climate impacts can be avoided at this threshold.

Fast growing populations and economies

But many countries, especially poorer ones, say this is not ambitious enough.

Another issue that has bedevilled the UN climate talks almost since they started more than 20 years ago, is how to share responsibility for curbing carbon emissions.

Developing countries want rich nations, which have polluted for longer, to bear more of the burden.

But the United States and others point the finger to developing states like China and India burning through vast carbon stocks to fuel their fast-growing populations and economies.

The two Asian giants now account for more emissions than the United States and European Union together.

Read more on:    france  |  climate change
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