Draft text for climate deal due by end-October: official

11th June 2015, Comments 0 comments

Negotiators for a global climate pact were tasked Thursday with producing a draft text by the end of October, as a meeting to streamline the sprawling blueprint wrapped up in Bonn.

"You will have by the end of October the draft package," the talks' co-chairman Ahmed Djoghlaf told journalists, referring to a core political agreement backed by a set of technical decisions.

The positions of all countries will be reflected in the text, he said.

Exactly six months are left before 195 countries are meant to sign an historic accord in Paris meant to stave off a climate disaster.

Some negotiators and observers have expressed frustration that with so little time left, the Bonn talks floundered on two fronts.

Firstly, they say, negotiators failed to meaningfully edit the working draft text, as mandated, and secondly the attempt to do so took precious time away from bartering on the outstanding political issues.

But Djoghlaf said editing of the text had been partly completed. Delegates say about eight or nine pages have been shaved off the near 90-page colossus.

"Parties have recognised that they have not finished the job because it is impossible to streamline and consolidate and edit a text with 4,000 participants... representing 196 parties," he said, referring to the 195 countries involved plus the European Union.

To this end, Djoghlaf and his colleague, Daniel Reifsnyder, have asked negotiators for a mandate to continue the editing work after Thursday's close of talks, and produce an edited version by July 24.

"We hope parties today will endorse our proposal," Reifsnyder said.

This would allow negotiators at the next Bonn meeting in August and September to get their teeth into the real divisive issues.

These include clauses on how to review and increase countries' pledges for cutting carbon emissions.

A roster of national pledges will form the backbone of efforts to ensure Earth is on track for meeting the UN target of limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

Also undetermined is how rich countries will muster $100 billion (88 billion euros) in climate aid for poor countries by 2020.

Even the agreement's legal status remains undecided.

Djoghlaf defended the oft-criticised pace of the process, saying: "If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far go together."

© 2015 AFP

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