Paris Climate Talks Will Continue Past Deadline

Late yesterday, French leadership at the United Nations climate talks in Paris produced a new draft text of a global agreement calling on countries to keep temperature rise “well below” 2 degrees Celsius by 2100 but recognizing a maximum temperature rise of below 1.5 Celsius as an ideal goal. Although the talks will continue past the Friday deadlinea final draft is expected 0800 GMT Saturday—progress appears to have been made: the number of brackets, which contain contested language, dropped from 300 in Wednesday’s draft to 48 in yesterday’s draft.

Christiana Figueres, the United Nations climate chief, argued that a possible settlement “is already pointing towards an agreement that is ambitious, that is fair and has the transparency of implementation over the few decades that the agreement will last.”

Negotiators worked through the night on what Figueres referred to as “political crunch issues,” including climate finance for developing countries, transparency, and, most divisive, differentiation of mitigation responsibility between developed countries, which historically have been the largest emitters, and developing countries, which today are the largest emitters.

Draft Details, As of Friday

Billy Pizer, faculty fellow with the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy, discusses where negotiations stand on these issues and what it all means.

As the negotiators head into (hopefully) the final night of negotiation, now is a good time to review what a Paris agreement really means and how some of these crunch issues will likely affect that outcome.

At its core, the Paris agreement is about achieving specific, near-term, national mitigation targets that cover the vast majority of global emissions along, with provisions to regularly review, update, and strengthen those targets. We need specific targets for accountability. These targets need to cover the vast —> Read More