Climate Negotiations Entered Second Week with Key Decisions Ahead
As said by Laurent Fabius, COP21 President and French Foreign Affairs Minister, at the opening of the COP High-Level Segment on December 7th, “time for decisions has come.” The climate negotiations continue into their second week, and there are strong calls for a new ambitious political agreement on climate change. Christiana Figueres, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, appealed to ministers’ political leadership to deliver an agreement with scientific foundations, that recognizes global, national and local needs, and contributes to sustainable development.
After agreeing at the end of the first week on an initial 48-page draft text, negotiators moved into the resolution of differences and the required political decisions to make the text a long-term agreement. “Nothing has been decided and nothing will be left behind,” said French climate ambassador Laurence Tubiana. Four negotiation groups are tirelessly working on four key issue areas: means of implementation, differentiation, ambition, and pre-2020 climate action. Discussions are also continuing around the Paris Committee on capacity building and the decision to cap temperature rise. “We now need to summon the political will needed to make the hard decisions required for an effective and durable agreement that protects the most vulnerable among us,” said Thoriq Ibrahim, Minister of Environment and Energy of the Maldives and Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States.
Monitoring and assessment are also been at the core of the negotiations. The international community needs to be able to follow up on COP21 decisions to track the progress of each country individually and as a group. So far, the Intended National Determined Contributions (INDCs) and the implementation of the eventual follow-up agreement seem to be emerging as the follow-up mechanisms.
The legal form of the agreement, the long-term goals of the agreement, the number of countries supporting the temperature cap, finance, loss, and damage, and compliance mechanisms are all still under discussion.
Ministers from the 195 countries at the talks are scheduled to finish the negotiations on Thursday, December 10th. On the last day of COP21, the UN will formalize the agreement.
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