Paris Climate Summit: Draft pact aims at 'well below' 2 degree Celsius limit

The climate change conference today came out with an ambitious final draft of a deal that proposes limiting global warming to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius and committing USD 100 billion a year from 2020 to help developing countries in coping with the problem.

PTI| Updated: Dec 12, 2015, 20:28 PM IST
Paris Climate Summit: Draft pact aims at 'well below' 2 degree Celsius limit

Le Bourget: The climate change conference today came out with an ambitious final draft of a deal that proposes limiting global warming to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius and committing USD 100 billion a year from 2020 to help developing countries in coping with the problem.

The target of well below 2 degrees Celsius and even more ambitious 1.5 degrees Celsius may not be acceptable to developing countries like India and China which prefer a ceiling of 2 degrees Celsius that would allow them to burn fuels like coal for a longer period.

Amidst cheers and applause from delegates from 195 countries, the draft of the "historic" deal was presented by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and President Francois Hollande appealed to the gathering to approve the accord.

As delegates got a three-hour recess to go through the document, Hollande called Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an apparent bid to persuade India to go with the deal.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson said Hollande discussed the latest status on the deal. "PM appreciated the gesture."

After 13 days of hard negotiations, Fabius described the final draft negotiating text as being "fair, durable and legally binding".

Fabius said the agreement would aim at limiting warming to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius and try for an even more ambitious goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The deal also seeks to mobilise a minimum of USD 100 billion (about Rs 6,70,000 crores) a year from 2020 to help the developing world cope with global warming, he said.

Importantly, a new figure for the financing would be set by 2025, Fabius said, adding that it would enshrine the annual USD 100 billion as a "floor" -- a minimum for the future.

If adopted by the nations, this will be the final agreement to reduce green house gas emissions. But if nations do not adopt it, it will mean failure.

Hollande and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon were present at the unveiling of the draft.

"The text is ambitious and realistic. France calls upon nations to adopt first universal agreement on climate change," Hollande said.

"You have to take the final step, the decisive step which allows us to reach the goal," he said, adding that all countries cannot be satisfied with the agreement.

Fabius said if the text is adopted by the nations, it will mark a "historic turning point".

"The focus is not on red lines but on green lines," he said.

The UN chief said people and countries are threatened as never before.

"The end is in sight. Let us now finish the job. The whole world is watching. Billions of people are relying on your wisdom. The time has come to acknowledge that national interests are best served by acting in the global interest," Ban said.

"Nature is sending urgent signals. People and countries are threatened as never before. We have to do as science dictates. We must protect the planet that sustains us. For that, we need all hands on deck," he said.

Ban said he was counting on developed countries to provide financial resources for mitigation and adaptation and to embark decisively on a low-emissions pathway.

At the same time, he urged developing nations to play an increasingly active role, according to their capacities.

"The solutions to climate change are on the table. They are ours for the taking," he said.

Fabius said, "We are almost at the end of the path and embarking on other and it is his conviction that we have come out with ambitious and balanced agreement."

The text reserves an increased role of adaptation while recognises the need for loss and damage, he said.

Fabius said the agreement will serve major causes like food security, public health, combating poverty and peace.

"Our responsibility to history is immense. Nobody here wants Copenhagen to be repeated," he said referring to the failure of talks at Conference of Parties in Copenhagan in 2009.

Reacting to the unveiling of the draft, US Secretary of State John Kerry expressed optimism that the text would be approved by the nations meeting in Paris.

"It should be good, but we'll see. Little things can happen, but we think it's teed up," Kerry told reporters.