Final draft of climate deal agreed upon, ready for adoption

As final push for landmark climate deal final draft has been agreed upon in Paris, ready for adoption

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon shake hands after a press conference during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21) at Le Bourget, near Paris, France on December 11, 2015 (Reuters)

French officials said that a final draft text for the global climate deal was agreed upon by French and UN officials early Saturday and waiting to be presented to ministers for adoption, after nearly two weeks of tough negotiations in Paris.

"We have a text to present," said an official at the office of French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who presides over the talks.

After the draft is translated into the UN's six official languages, Fabius will present the latest text to ministers for adoption on Saturday at 12:30pm (1030GMT).

The deal was reached nearly 16 hours after the conference had been scheduled to finish.

Some analysts said that this was not a completed deal, adding that confirmation would only happen if there were no objections raised at Saturday morning’s meeting with ministers.  

Fabius hopes to secure a comprehensive agreement to halt rising greenhouse gas emissions. If that fails, the talks may continue on Sunday.

Officials from 195 nations spent whole night to negotiating on final sticking points and none of them seemed insurmountable, such as the phrasing of a goal for phasing out carbon emissions later this century and the frequency of further negotiations meant to encourage even faster action.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, President-designate of COP21, attends a press conference during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 at Le Bourget, near Paris, France on December 11, 2015 (Reuters)

"All the conditions are in place to have a universal, ambitious final deal," Fabius told reporters late on Friday, pushing to resolve deep disagreements on issues such as securing financing for developing nations.

"There has never been such a strong momentum," he added.

The result, including promises to expand billions of dollars in funding to ease the shift to low-carbon fuels and to help developing nations struggling with impacts of climate change such as floods or heat waves, is likely to be hailed by many for its purpose and vilified by some others for its lack thereof.

If the deal is successful, it will be the first time the world will have a common vision for curbing the greenhouse gas emissions and a roadmap for ending two centuries of fossil fuel dominance.

The deal will also be a powerful symbol to citizens all over the world and a signal to investors.

All the participants hope that investors and executives will be more willing to spend trillions of dollars to shift to coal-fired power with solar panels and windmills.

"It will be up to business, consumers, citizens and particularly investors to finish the job," said, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber.

The slogan "Climate action" is projected on the Eiffel Tower as part of the World Climate Change Conference 2015 in Paris, France on December 11, 2015 (Reuters)

The Paris pact will not be a legally binding deal, this means that it would almost certainly fail to pass at the US Congress. In contrast, it will be up to each nation to follow a greener growth in their own way.    

Many Republicans in the US see the pact as a dangerous attempt that threatens economic prosperity for an uncertain, if greener future.

On Friday, the US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping spoke by phone. Both leaders said in a joint statement that they were committed to an “ambitious” deal, according to a White House statement.

"Both leaders agreed that the Paris conference presents a crucial opportunity to galvanise global efforts to meet the climate change challenge," the statement said.

"They committed that their negotiating teams in Paris would continue to work closely together and with others to realise the vision of an ambitious climate agreement."

TRTWorld and agencies