COP21: Ministers in race against time for global climate change deal


Ministers from around the world are racing to reach global climate change agreement by the end of the week, with talks between the 195 member nations scheduled to end on Friday.

A draft text of an international agreement was created earlier in the week which aims to establish global emissions targets and financial help for developing countries. A revised version is now being worked on by ministers from around the world, including the UK’s energy secretary Amber Rudd.

Eight ministers are heading special working groups which are aiming to produce the second draft of an agreement on Wednesday. The political issues which they must resolve include emissions targets and long-term goals, reviewing and ratcheting mechanisms every five years, and transparency and accountability measures.

The first draft of the agreement met opposition from developing countries, with negotiators saying their needs were not adequately represented by the proposed deal.

Giza Gaspar-Martins, chair of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) Group, said: “If the climate agreement does not work for the most vulnerable among us, how can we say it has been a success? We cannot.”

Developing countries want a commitment of $100 billion of funding to help with climate change, pointing out that they are not to blame for the bulk of emissions.

There is also debate over whether an agreement will be legally binding or not. The EU is pushing for binding targets, but the US is not expected to agree to this. However, the country may accept an over-arching architecture that legally binds it too financial and emissions targets.

While the main agreement will dictate how countries work towards emissions targets from 2020, Amber Rudd’s working group is specifically looking at finance and emissions targets up until 2020.


Photo credit: Rafa Velazquez from Flickr