EU anxious ahead of COP21 conference

EurActiv.comby Georgi Gotev 16:09

The EU warned today (20 August) that the window of opportunity for December's United Nations Climate Change Conference was closing fast, urging the 140+ countries that have not yet made public their contributions to do so, naming some of the major players.

Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete met the Brussels press today, just over 100 days before the conference, also known as COP21, which will convene in Paris, between 30 November to 11 December.

Cañete said that this conference would be “a historic milestone”, a “unique opportunity to accelerate the shift to a low-carbon climate-resilient global economy”.

“But the window of opportunity to meet to meet our target of keeping the global temperature rise below 2 degrees is closing fast,” he said, echoing UN climate chief Cristiana Figueres' warning last week that countries may not be able to limit warming to below 2 degree Celsius, above pre-industrial levels.

10 negotiating days left

U.N. climate deal draft must be shorter, clearer: minister

U.N. climate deal draft must be shorter, clearer: minister

Megan Rowling PlanetArk23 Jul 15;

Ministers working towards a new U.N. deal to tackle climate change, due in December, need a negotiating text that is shorter and more manageable than the current draft, the Marshall Islands' foreign minister said after informal talks in Paris.

"It should be something that people can understand, be able to work with and negotiate from," chief diplomat Tony de Brum told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from France. The current version of the draft text is a bewildering 85-page list of options, incorporating the demands of the nearly 200 nations participating in the process.

At the last round of formal U.N. talks in June, negotiators slimmed the document down by only a few pages and tasked the co-chairs with preparing a new version, to be published on Friday. This unofficial document is expected to streamline the text, and may provide more structure aimed at sorting the elements of the draft into a potential core legal agreement and an accompanying set of decisions.

The message from this week's two-day gathering in Paris of around 40 countries' delegations, including 26 with ministers, and an earlier meeting of the world's major economies was that the negotiating text should be short - around 40 pages - and ambitious, de Brum said."The ministers should have something that they feel comfortable moving forward with," he added.

The co-chairs will find it hard to chop the text by half, as they have no mandate to weed out options. But they can set them out more clearly, said Liz Gallagher, leader of the climate diplomacy program at London-based consultancy E3G."The co-chairs have a very delicate balance to keep - they can't cut large swathes of the text because they don't want to alienate countries, but we do need manageable options for ministers to choose from," she said.