United Nations climate chief says talks on track, advises negotiators to rest and focus

“There is a requirement of success that weighs on us, we must keep it in mind during our work”, the French foreign minister stressed, noting that a “draft agreement” was to be delivered to him on Saturday. The leaders of France, Germany, Canada, Chile, Mexico and Ethiopia, as well as heads of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development say either taxing carbon emissions or a cap-and-trade system is the best way to mitigate climate change, the Associate Press reports.

While these informal meetings are taking place, another strand of negotiators have broad oversight of the whole package of details that will make up any agreement, attempting to steer it through to a deal, and a third strand are working on some of the important issues that will make up the package, such as financial assistance for poor countries, commitments on greenhouse gas emissions, and mechanisms for ensuring countries are accountable for meeting their targets in a transparent way.

Brandalism’s Joe Elan said: ‘By sponsoring the climate talks, major polluters such as Air France and GDF-Suez-Engie can promote themselves as part of the solution – when actually they are part of the problem’.

It said that the agreement should be as per all the principles and provisions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) especially equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR).

However, negotiators said the nitty-gritty discussions for a hugely complex 54-page draft text, riddled with undecided clauses, were advancing too slowly. “At some point, we definitely need to switch gear”. Negotiators say that the French, who have put a massive diplomatic effort into the past year of preparations, are acutely aware of the risk that any agreement will be foiled not by a lack of political will to forge a deal, but by being bogged down in the unwieldy details of the text.

“I remain confident that it will be a hard fought two weeks but at the end of the day we are likely to achieve, and I believe we will achieve, an agreement”, Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt told reporters.

United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres cautioned against despair.

“I think our dialogue with India and the plan that they have produced and some of the cooperation that we are undertaking on clean energy comes from people’s recognition that much of what the president has set in motion here in the United States is going to be enduring”, she said.

Touching on the rich-poor issue, British charity Oxfam issued a study saying the wealthiest 10 percent of people produce half of Earth’s fossil-fuel emissions, while the poorest half contribute a mere 10 percent.

But she said the biggest gap was over climate finance.

At the core of the talks is the goal of limiting warming to a maximum of 2ºC (3.6ºF) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

“We can be even more ambitious”.

Since then, scientists have pounded out an ever-louder warning that relentlessly climbing carbon emissions will doom future generations to rising seas and worsening floods, storms and drought – a recipe for hunger, disease and homelessness for many millions.

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