Thursday 29 September 2016

EU joins forces with 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states to drive home deal at UN climate summit

Paul Melia, Environment Editor in Paris

Published 08/12/2015 | 17:05

US Secretary of State John Kerry, right, gestures as he speaks, flanked by Mashable science editor Andrew Freedman, at the Mashable/UN Foundation
US Secretary of State John Kerry, right, gestures as he speaks, flanked by Mashable science editor Andrew Freedman, at the Mashable/UN Foundation "Earth to Paris" summit at Le Petit Palais in Paris, France, on the sidelines of the COP21, the UN climate change conference. (Mandel Ngan/Pool Photo via AP)

THE EU has joined forces with 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific states in an effort to drive home a deal at the UN climate summit.

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The coalition have agreed on a number of key issues which, it hopes, will result in a legally-binding deal by Friday.

The agreement also involves the European Commission providing €475m in funding to support climate action between now and 2020.

It is expected that the cooperation will heap pressure on other countries to overcome issues ranging from financial support for developing nations, a system to verify that emissions are being cut and a provision in the final text which allow ambition to be ramped up over time.

The ACP group includes eight from Africa, 16 from the Caribbean and 15 from the Pacific. Individual countries include Cuba, Kenya and Fiji.

EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete urged other countries to join the bloc to help reach an agreement.

“These negotiations are not about “them” and “us”. These negotiations are about all of us, both developed and developing countries, finding common ground and solutions together.

“This is why the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries have agreed to join forces for an ambitious outcome here in Paris. We urge other countries to join us. Together we can do it.”

The EU and ACP group have agreed that any deal must be “legally binding, inclusive, fair, ambitious, durable and dynamic”.

It also said there must be a “clear and operational” long-term goal which complies with the science, and it also wants any deal to be reviewed every five years to allow for increased ambition.

Finally, it is seeking a transparent system where country commitments to reduce emissions can be independently verified.

The deal will strengthen the case for an ambitious deal, but many issues remain unresolved. A new draft text is expected tomorrow (Wednesday).

ACP Secretary General Patrick Gomes stressed the importance of supporting ACP Countries to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change, stating: "The EU and the ACP Group represent a great majority of countries in the world and we want an ambitious Paris Agreement to accelerate the global transition that we urgently need.

“Now is the time for leaders to be ambitious. The adverse impacts of climate change threaten the world as a whole, including the very survival of the 79 countries of the ACP Group, while impeding their achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals”.

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