'Non-stop': Quotes of the day from Paris climate talks

9th December 2015, Comments 0 comments

Here are five of the best quotes on Wednesday from the UN climate conference in Paris, which aims to forge a universal pact by the end of the week to curb global warming:

- Work through the night -

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius insists negotiators will have to work non-stop to reach a Friday deadline for a deal:

"I told everyone they have to be ready to work tonight and tomorrow probably without stop because the goal remains the same: getting there in time for a binding, universal and equitable deal that allows us finally to fight efficiently against climate change."

- Good, bad, ugly -

Kaisa Kosonen, a climate policy expert with Greenpeace, gives a mixed report card on the draft of an accord released by the French hosts:

"Some of the words in this text are smeared with the fingerprints of the oil-producing states. It's a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly, but we've got three days to force the worst stuff out and get a decent deal. It's crunch time now, it's going be hard, but there's a lot still to fight for."

- So close -

Thoriq Ibrahim, Maldives environment minister and chair of the Alliance of Small Island States, can almost touch success:

"We have never been this close to a climate change agreement. It's now up to us ministers to show the leadership needed to make hard decisions that put the interests of people and the planet ahead of shortsighted politics."

- Darkest hour -

But Tuvalu Prime Minister Enele Sosene Sopoaga expresses fears that the worst of the negotiations will be at the end:

"In times like these, as we fishermen in the Pacific know, the darkest time of the night is the one that is just before dawn."

- Climate tragedies -

Prince Albert II of Monaco seeks to inject into the final moments of the negotiations a reminder of the stakes:

"It is estimated already today that the number of people forced to leave their homes due to climate-related issues is three times higher than those who do so due to war or political conflicts. Already today millions of our fellow human beings are at risk of having to abandon their land and their property, their history and their plans and their dreams for the future to escape the tragedies for which they are not responsible."

© 2015 AFP

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