LE BOURGET, France: Envoys from 195 nations appear to be zeroing in on a historic climate-saving pact in Paris.
The host of the talks, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, has declared that the world is “extremely close” to a global greenhouse gas-cutting deal that he hopes to seal Saturday.
As ministers headed into a second night of non-stop talks, Fabius presented them with a new draft that offered the first real glimpse of what a final accord may look like.
These are the key points of the draft Paris Agreement, all of which are still open to change in the hours of negotiations that lie ahead:
Curb planetary overheating
The purpose of the deal is to hold global warming to “well below” two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) compared to pre-Industrial Revolution levels and to try to cap it at 1.5C.
A long-term goal
The world will aim for climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions to peak “as soon as possible.”
Countries will then make rapid cuts to as to reach “greenhouse gas emissions neutra-lity” in the second half of this century.
That means net emissions of the heat-trapping gases would be zero.
But this could be achieved by, for example, planting more trees or using technology to soak up carbon dioxide.
Many climate activists prefer a tougher option of banning human activities that produce greenhouse gases, such as burning coal, oil and gas.
A five-year review
In 2019, the year before the agreement enters into force, countries will take stock of the overall impact of what they are doing to rein in global warming, and revisit their plans in 2020.
The collective impact of countries’ efforts will then be reviewed at five-year intervals from 2023, after which pledges will be updated.
Money, money, money
Bowing to a demand of developing countries, rich nations will mobilize $100 billion (92 billion euros) to help them cope with the cost of climate change. That figure is a “floor” and must be periodically reviewed.
Low-lying island nations and poor countries most at risk from climate change-induced sea level rise and other impacts, have won recognition in the draft of the need for help in dealing with losses suffered. While assistance is promised, rich countries will not accept liability.