France pushes for speedy emissions-curbing pledges

18th September 2015, Comments 0 comments

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Friday urged nations that have yet to submit carbon-curbing targets to do so without delay, ahead of UN talks for a climate rescue pact to be inked in Paris in December.

"I'm taking advantage of this meeting to (ask) that every country meets its obligations and that they do so quickly," he told an economics forum in Le Havre, northwest France.

So far 63 governments have submitted pledges known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, or INDCs, that will form the backbone of a universal climate pact to be forged at a November 30-December 11 United Nations conference in the French capital.

The deal will seek to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

Including major emitters China, the United States and the 28-member European Union, pledges so far are from countries responsible for roughly 65 percent of global emissions, and home to 43 percent of the world population.

Brazil, India, Indonesia and South Africa are among the major developing country polluters yet to submit pledges.

No strict deadline had been set, but the secretariat of the UN body supervising the negotiations has promised to report by November 1 on how much impact the combined pledges would have on keeping global warming limited to two degrees.

Based on contributions submitted so far, scientists say the world is on track for warming of about 3 C -- far above the threshold at which the worst climate damage can be avoided.

"There is a general will here, but it is still not enough," Fabius said. "The movement has to pick up speed."

The foreign minister noted the draft of the text was "too long" at 80-plus pages, with "too many options", and had to be trimmed to about 20 pages.

© 2015 AFP

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