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Sunday 4 December 2016

UN climate conference: Shorter draft of agreement drawn up in Paris

Published 09/12/2015 | 15:06

Activists from Greenpeace stage a protest in front of a mechanically operated polar bear in Le Bourget, north of Paris. (AP)
Activists from Greenpeace stage a protest in front of a mechanically operated polar bear in Le Bourget, north of Paris. (AP)

Negotiators have released a new, shorter draft of an international accord to fight global warming that removes many previous questions but leaves several key issues unresolved.

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The talks in Paris are scheduled to end in two days. The draft document released by the UN climate agency is 29 pages, down from a 48-page version released on Saturday.

It does not resolve the question of the long-term goal of the accord - whether it is to remove carbon emissions from the economy altogether, or just reduce them.

Nor does it resolve whether governments are aiming at reducing overall global temperatures by 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial times or closer to 2 degrees.

There are about 100 places where there are decisions still to be made - either multiple options in brackets, or blank spaces.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said "three-quarters" of the brackets in the previous version have been deleted, meaning negotiators have come to agreement on some of the many sticking points.

Mr Fabius said: "we've made progress but still a lot of work remains to be done."

The sticking points include how to define the obligations of countries in different stages of development in fighting climate change.

Press Association

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