Climate negotiators regroup after rocky start to key talks

Developing nations are balking at the latest draft of a global climate agreement to be inked in Paris in December, negotiators a
Developing nations are balking at the latest draft of a global climate agreement to be inked in Paris in December, negotiators and experts say

Diplomats crafting a global climate pact will on Tuesday try to bounce back from an acrimonious start to the final negotiating session before a UN summit to seal the ambitious deal.

There were heated moments as the talks opened on Monday when developing nations accused rich ones of sidelining their interests, even as UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned: "We don't have any 'plan B' because we don't have any 'planet B'."

The five-day meeting in the German city of Bonn must craft a workable blueprint for the climate rescue pact to be signed at the November 30-December 11 summit in Paris, meant to crown more than two decades of fraught negotiations.

It must serve as a working document for ministers and heads of state who need to take the tough political decisions needed for the agreement to take shape.

But instead of getting down to line-by-line bartering on Monday, the crucial first day of the 195-nation talks was spent rehashing well-rehearsed divides between rich and developing nations, with Ban describing the process as "frustrating".

The vast G77 developing nation bloc, led by South Africa, complained of "apartheid" treatment at the hands of rich nations, saying their core demands had been summarily excised from the draft.

Greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets
Greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets

The document had been slimmed down from 80 pages to 20 by two diplomats guiding the process.

But the 130-plus G77 group of countries, which include China and India, insisted on reinserting dropped phrases on finance and fairness, a process which took the whole day and grew the text back again to 34 pages.

In Paris, French President Francois Hollande cautioned against an empty deal coming out of the forthcoming summit, saying countries' actions will have to be reviewed "regularly" to make sure progress is being made.

"There will be a deal in Paris. The question is at what level the agreement will be reached," he said.

A key pillar of the pact will be a list of national pledges to cut to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

'The whole world is looking'

Rich nations have pledged to mobilise $100 billion per year from 2020 to help vulnerable countries cope with the impacts of glob
Rich nations have pledged to mobilise $100 billion per year from 2020 to help vulnerable countries cope with the impacts of global warming and reduce greenhouse gases

Scientists warn that pledges submitted by more than 150 nations so far place Earth on course for warming closer to 3 C—a world of dangerous rises in sea levels, superstorms and the spread of disease.

A key disagreement at the talks concerns a mechanism to regularly review and ramp up countries' actions so that the 2 C goal is achieved.

Another cause for dispute is developing countries' demand for money to finance a shift to less carbon-polluting economies, and to shore up their defences against the impact of climate change.

The Paris pact, due to take effect in 2020, will be the first to include all the world's nations.

"The whole world is looking at us," Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Bulgar Vidal told negotiators on Monday.


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Rocky start for UN climate talks in Bonn

© 2015 AFP

Citation: Climate negotiators regroup after rocky start to key talks (2015, October 20) retrieved 19 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-10-climate-regroup-rocky-key.html
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Oct 20, 2015
The ship is sinking. Are we really arguing over who will pay for the lifeboats?

Oct 20, 2015
The ship is sinking. Are we really arguing over who will pay for the lifeboats?


The Kraken Wakes

Oct 21, 2015
The ship is sinking. Are we really arguing over who will pay for the lifeboats?


The Kraken Wakes


Ahab beckons!

Oct 21, 2015
Wyndham reference

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