France hails ‘considerable common ground’ on UN climate plan

Success of Paris deal will depend on meeting $100 billion climate finance goal and delivering long term emission cuts

(Pic: COP20/Flickr)

(Pic: COP20/Flickr)

By Jean-Baptiste Bonaventure

Negotiators working on a global climate change plan have “considerable common ground” according to a review of recent discussions published by the French and Peruvian governments.

A five-page ‘aide-memoire’ published on Tuesday indicates a significant number of countries are in agreement over the structure and goals of the proposed deal, due to be signed off in December.

“The world is no longer one where only some parties are acting. Today, all parties are implementing meaningful measures and policies on both mitigation and adaptation,” reads the review.

“The concept of nationally-determined contributions is a game-changer that will enable universal participation to be fully reflected in the new agreement.”

It suggests there is now widespread support for five-yearly reviews of global greenhouse gas cuts, although countries may only be compelled to increase national targets every decade.

“Collective and long-term ambition is key to assess the success or failure of the Paris agreement, which should proactively and constructively enhance ambition over time for mitigation, adaptation, and means of implementation (finance, technology and capacity building).”

But the document underlines the need for “clarity” on how $100 billion of climate finance will flow from rich to poor countries by 2020.

The sum was pledged in 2010 to help developing countries green their economies, but little has materialised so far, which the French and Peruvians admit is affecting progress at negotiations.

“The fulfilment of existing climate finance commitments is of utmost importance to create trust. Contributors must show a clear path towards delivering on the commitment.”

The reflections focus on a two-day meeting between 46 countries in Paris last month, involving 31 ministers and involving all the major negotiating groups at UN talks. Governments have less than four months and just 10 days of official negotiations before the 2015 UN Paris summit opens for business. That’s a concern for ministers the document suggests, who “expressed concern at the slow pace of negotiations and the need for a clear and concise negotiating text.” A newer and slightly shorter text was released by the UN at the end of last month, although it still runs to over 80 pages and will require substantial alterations. RTCC understands the two co-chairs guiding the process could push for mandate to produce a shorter set of proposals when countries meet in Bonn this September for a week of talks.

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