Friday, February 13, 2015

Nations Agree Draft Text for Deal to Fight Climate Change

U.N. climate negotiations in Geneva this week. (Credit: UN Geneva/Flickr) Click to Enlarge.
Almost 200 countries agreed a draft text for a deal to fight climate change on Friday, but put off hard choices about narrowing down a vast range of options for limiting a damaging rise in temperatures.

Government delegates adopted the 86-page draft as the basis for negotiations on the deal due to be agreed later this year.

But the document includes radically varying proposals for slowing climate change -- one foresees a phase-out of net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, for instance, while another seeks a peak of emissions "as soon as possible".

"Although it has become longer, countries are now fully aware of each other's positions," said Christiana Figueres, the head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, referring to an earlier 38-page document which formed the basis of discussions.

Negotiators had to agree an official text in Geneva to meet a U.N. requirement that it is in place six months before a summit in Paris starting in November 2015.

Figueres said the long text would make the next negotiating session in June "a little bit more difficult."

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