Climate deal 'to keep rises well below 2C'

December 12, 2015, 1:08pm


There were cheers as French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced the 2C objective. Photo: AP 

BBC News

Organisers of climate talks in Paris have released details of a proposed landmark deal to curb climate change.

France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the final draft of the deal was fair, "legally binding" and would limit warming to "well below 2C".

The final draft agreement has been presented to international delegates in Paris after two weeks of talks.

If endorsed, the global climate pact would represent "a historic turning point", said Mr Fabius.

"It confirms our key objective, the objective which is vital, that of continuing to have a mean temperature well below two degrees and to endeavour to limit that increase to one point five degrees," he told countries.

French President Francois Hollande, who joined the meeting on Saturday, called the proposal unprecedented.

"The decisive agreement for the planet is here and now,'' Mr Hollande said. "France calls upon you to adopt the first universal agreement on climate.''

And UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on world diplomats to "finish the job" "We must protect the planet that sustains us,'' he said. "We need all our hands on deck.''

Positions 'narrowed'

Nearly 200 countries are attempting to strike the first climate deal to commit all countries to cut emissions, which would come into being in 2020.

Ministers will now decide whether or not to approve the proposed agreement when discussions resume later on Saturday.

Hopes are high for the historic deal but countries could still raise objections.

The UN summit has run over time as countries try to overcome divisions over ambition, money and trust.

The spokesman of the UN climate body behind the meeting said positions had "narrowed enormously" ahead of presentation of the final climate deal draft.

WWF-UK chief executive David Nussbaum said there were indications of a clear vision in the strong long-term goal.

"The Paris deal is not just about reducing emissions, but also about protecting vulnerable places and people," he said.

Key disagreements

Martin Kaiser of Greenpeace, speaking before the text was released, said there had been disagreements over how and when to phase out fossil fuels and issues such as financing.

"There's been a lot of discussion whether the long-term goal will give a clear signal to phase out fossil by mid-century or is there a risk that it will be much later?" he said.

"There have been also a lot of arguments about the financing package because it was quite clear that for the US and for Europe it's such a big step forward which is hardly to believe they will do it.

"So everything seems to be sorted but we don`t know yet whether it's a good one or a bad one."

The last hours of the talks culminate a four-year drive to produce the first international pact asking all countries to limit their greenhouse gas emissions.

Countries will meet later on Saturday to decide whether or not to adopt the agreement.

At the scene: BBC environment correspondent Matt McGrath in Paris

According to Laurent Fabius, the draft agreement will call for a temperature target which is "well below" 2C, which will please small island nations.

But crucially we don't yet know if the language on how the world keeps the temperature rises down has been strengthened. Many Gulf states were keen to see only woolly references to a fossil free future.

The issue of transparency became a major sticking point between the US and China.

We will have to see the wording in the document, but sources say a compromise has been reached along the lines that a new system would apply to all countries but the system itself will remain "unspecified" for now.

Laurent Fabius told the meeting that the rich would provide finance worth $100bn a year from 2020, and that this figure would be a "floor".

Developing countries are said to be happy with provisions in this text about the predictability of finance. This has been one of their main gripes in this process.

Of particular interest is the review mechanism - the method by which the commitments of countries will be assessed against the temperature targets in the future.

Countries will review their existing commitments before they come into force in 2020, and there will be a review in 2023 and new commitments in 2025, and every five years from there on.