France seeks climate 'pre-agreement' as early as October

1st June 2015, Comments 0 comments

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Monday his country would seek a "pre-agreement" for a UN climate deal as early as October, ahead of a year-end conference in Paris.

"The goal is for us to reach a pre-agreement as early as October" in negotiations for a pact to tackle climate change, Fabius told a fresh round of climate talks in Bonn.

To spur progress, Fabius said he would organise ministerial-level meetings on July 20-21 and September 7. He did not say which countries would attend.

The Paris conference, from November 30 to December 11, is intended to seal a historic agreement to limit global warming to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels.

At the core of the planned agreement are national commitments to reduce levels of greenhouse gases blamed for damaging Earth's delicate climate system.

But many areas of the accord remain to be negotiated.

They include reviews of progress to ensure the planet stays on a two degrees C trajectory, the legal status of the agreement and finance for poor countries most exposed to climate impacts.

Fabius, in a speech at the start of an 11-day round of 195-country talks, said it was essential to lock in consensus before the Paris conference.

"You know better than anyone that climate negotiations can be complex," he said.

"It's not by waiting to the final minute of COP 21 that we will be able to prepare and obtain the ambitious and balanced agreement that we need."

COP 21 is the name in UN climate jargon for the 21st Conference of the Parties under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Fabius's words referenced the fraught outcome of the 2009 UN climate summit, which almost collapsed when leaders jetted in, expecting to bless a treaty, but instead encountered deadlock.

© 2015 AFP

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