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Cheers as ‘ambitious, balanced’ draft climate agreement unveiled

Updated December 12, 2015 23:59:22

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is applauded Photo: French foreign minister Laurent Fabius receives applause after delivering an ‘ambitious’ draft climate deal. (AFP: Miguel Medina)

France has submitted a proposed 195-nation accord to curb emissions of the heat-trapping gases that threaten to wreak havoc on Earth’s climate system.

Key points:

  • Draft climate deal would limit global warming to “perhaps 1.5 degrees”, France says
  • Sets out system of five-yearly reviews and monitoring of each nation’s progress
  • Climate financing for developing countries of at least $ 100b by 2020
  • Deal to be voted on later this evening

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, the host of the talks in Paris, said the draft climate deal would limit global warming to “well below 2 degrees Celsius, perhaps 1.5”.

It also sets out a system of five-yearly reviews and the monitoring of each nation’s progress in reducing carbon emissions.

“$ 100 billion climate financing for developing countries by 2020 will be a floor,” he said.

If the proposal gets enough support, it will be the first international agreement requiring all countries to limit their greenhouse gases, a development Mr Fabius called “a historic turning point”.

“This text contains the principal elements that we did feel before would be impossible to achieve. It is differentiated, fair, durable, dynamic, balanced and legally binding,” he said.

'No Plan B' is lit up on the Eiffel Tower Photo: The Eiffel Tower displays the message ‘No plan B’. (AFP: Patrick Kovarik)

“Our responsibility to history is immense,” Mr Fabius told thousands of officials, including president Francois Hollande and US Secretary of State John Kerry, in the main hall of the conference venue on the outskirts of Paris.

“If we were to fail, how could we rebuild this hope?” he asked.

“Our children would not understand or forgive us. Faced with climate change our destinies are bound together.”

Mr Fabius drew loud applauses during his presentation of the draft. French officials released the text of the 31-page document agreement after delegates broke for lunch.

External Link: Read the full draft agreement

Earlier, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said the draft “promises to set the world on a new path to a low-emissions, climate-resilient future”.

“Nature is sending urgent signals and people in countries are threatened as never before. We have to do as the science dictates. We must protect the planet that sustains us,” he said.

Mr Hollande called on delegates “to do everything possible” to reach the 1.5 degree Celsius target.

“It is a decisive matter because warming that goes beyond this could have a very serious impact on the various balances on our planet,” he said.

Nations are responding this evening ahead of declaring later tonight whether they will sign on to the deal.

External Link: COP21 deal storify

ABC/Wires

Topics: climate-change, environment, government-and-politics, weather, france

First posted December 12, 2015 22:03:50

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