The final agreement of the Paris climate summit was initially scheduled to be produced on Friday. But as has often been the case with UN climate conferences, this summit is also going to run past the deadline. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on BFM television that the final draft from the conference can be produced only on Saturday. Fabius’ statement came after a hard night of negotiations that continued until 6 a.m. local time on Friday.
Financing a major sticking point at Paris climate talks
There have been some serious disagreements between diplomats of the 195 countries attending the Paris climate summit. The biggest sticking point is how much financial responsibility should poor countries take in the cost of emission-cutting measures. The rich countries have been pushing the poorer nations to do more, while 134 developing countries argue that the rich countries should bear the responsibility because they have been producing the most greenhouse gases for over a century.
Negotiators have also failed to agree on what the stated long-term goal should be for the deal. Shifting to clean energy on a global scale would cost hundreds of billions of dollars. Adopting to rising seas and extreme weather caused by greenhouse gases is only going to increase the total cost. Early in the Friday morning, delegates broke into smaller groups to iron out their differences.
Xi Jinping, Obama discuss climate change
Fabius said there was still work to do, but he expressed confidence that things were “going in the right direction.” Despite difficult negotiations, the atmosphere was good and things were positive, he told BFM television. In another development, Chinese President Xi Jinping had a conversation over the phone with President Barack Obama. Leaders of the world’s two biggest polluters agreed to help bridge the gaps between rich and poor countries at Paris climate talks.
The goal is to keep global temperatures within 2 degrees of what they were in the pre-industrialization era. However, some scientists argue that limiting the temperature rise to just 1.5 degrees from the pre-industrialization level would lead to better results and prevent global warming-related natural calamities. Scientists have warned that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, it will lead to rising sea levels, severe droughts, and devastating storms.