Negotiators kick start marathon talks for climate deal

The Paris climate conference will, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aims to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement.

PTI| Updated: Dec 01, 2015, 19:26 PM IST
Negotiators kick start marathon talks for climate deal

Le Bourget (France): A day after world leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to unitedly fight climate change, negotiators from 195 countries began marathon talks Tuesday to strike a historic deal to curb greenhouse gas and overcome a thorny divide on financing to developing nations.

Negotiators on Tuesday scrambled to give shape to a 54-page text into a blueprint that can be approved by December 11.

The conference will, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aims to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement, with the aim of keeping the rise in global temperatures to below 2 degrees C over pre-industrial levels.

Scientists estimate that if the world warms by more than 2 degrees C on average above the pre-industrial levels by the end of this century, the effects of climate change will become catastrophic and irreversible.

A 2 degrees C limit has long been the goal of UN climate summits, and current pledges from all countries are estimated to lead to warming of 2.7 degrees C to 3 degrees C, although the proposed deal has a provision for increased emissions cuts in future.

Countries like China and India have laid out plans for cuts to their emissions. These will form the centrepiece of any deal at the summit.

Modi has cautioned against any unilateral steps that will lead to an economic barrier in the battle against climate change. He hoped the developed countries would mobilise USD 100 billion annually by 2020 for mitigation and adaptation.

"The principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities must remain the bedrock of our collective enterprise," Modi said.

The summit is being held under the shadow of the deadly Paris terror attacks that killed 130 people two weeks ago. About 2,800 police and soldiers have been deployed around the conference site and over 6,000 have been deployed in the city.

French police today banned demonstrations on Paris' prestigious Champs Elysees avenue and near the venue for the UN climate conference.

"Other bans could be implemented, depending on the necessity and the circumstances," police warned.

The 12-day conference also began in the backdrop of a UN report that said 2015 threatens to become the hottest year ever recorded in history.

The most difficult issues at the summit include working out how to share the burden of taking action between rich and poor nations, how to finance the cost of adapting to global warming and the legal format of any final text.

More than 180 countries have submitted their plans to reduce the harmful emissions that cause climate change.

The UN climate process concerns the use of fossil fuels, the backbone of the world's energy supply -- and that puts the interests of developing nations at stake.

New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment said India has articulated the principle of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) in terms of carbon space for the first time and has set the tone for the negotiations.