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Wednesday 21 February 2018

Climate talks must speed up and find solutions, says summit head

Laurent Fabius, president of the climate talks, said there has been
Laurent Fabius, president of the climate talks, said there has been "very strong momentum"

The head of the international climate summit has said the climate talks are off to "a good start" thanks to 150 world leaders who came to Paris on Monday, but now negotiations have to speed up.

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, president of the climate talks, said "there's very strong momentum" but that's not enough. He said negotiators need to get another draft to him by noon on Saturday.

He added: "We must speed the process up because we have much work to do... compromise solutions must be found as soon as possible."

He said in all likelihood climate justice "will be the key of the climate agreement."

Meanwhile, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has said b asic staples and traditional dishes around the world are under threat from climate change.

Rice and beans in Guatemala are harder to grow because of hotter temperatures and more extreme weather, which IFAD says can be countered with investment in better crop storage and water storage.

It is handing out recipe cards at the Paris climate conference to illustrate the problem and how to solve it.

The ingredients for Moroccan lamb tagine are threatened by the encroaching Sahara desert, which makes it harder to grow the vegetables and reduces grasslands for sheep grazing.

IFAD is recommending crop diversification and more water-efficient vegetable farming.

The coalition also announced an international pact on Wednesday, saying it is hoping to raise up to one billion US dollars (£666 million) in investment.

Among the projects they announced were cleaning up groundwater in India, better irrigation in Morocco, helping people in South American river basins adapt to droughts and floods, and better weather and water monitoring for 160 million people living around the Congo River basin.

The head of the World Food Programme, meanwhile, is warning that hunger linked to climate change may worsen mass migrations, and is hoping for an ambitious international accord to slow global warming.

Ertharin Cousin said that people "will move if they don't have enough to eat." Speaking at the climate talks in Paris, she said "food insecurity anywhere is a security challenge everywhere."

Ms Cousin said the UN food agency cannot fulfil its promises to eradicate hunger without a global climate accord, and investment in preventive measures such as drought-resistant seeds and water-conserving agriculture.

Man-made global warming is causing worsening droughts and floods that are threatening traditional food sources, she said - especially in the poorest countries, where hunger is already a top problem.

Press Association

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