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Monday 19 February 2018

Draft text of climate deal released to 200 nations

Environment Editor in Paris

THE draft text of a climate deal has been released to almost 200 nations at the UN climate summit in Paris.

The 29-page document sets out the bones of a deal, with a demand from vulnerable nations to limit average temperature increases to no more than 1.5C included.

And president of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21), Laurent Fabius, said that the number of points to be clarified by ministers had been substantially reduced by 75pc, suggesting substantial progress had been made.

“I am absolutely convinced we will be able to reach an agreement,” Mr Fabius said.

The text sets out the points subject to further negotiation. Nothing is agreed, until everything is agreed, and the draft agreement could substantially change.

There are three options for holding the increase in global average temperatures - to below 2C; to hold “well below” 2C and scale up efforts to limit temperature increase to below 1.5 °C, or hold them below 1.5C.

On the long term goal of decarbonising the global economy, the draft text presents two very different options – one suggests reducing emissions between 40pc-70pc by 2050, or by 70pc-95pc in the same period. It also calls for a reduction to zero emissions “by the end” or “by the middle” of the century.

The second calls for long-term low global emissions over the course of the century, which is considered less ambitious.

On efforts by all nations, it says that developed nations should make cuts, with developing nations doing the same but supported by adequate finance and technology. The second option involves all countries “aiming” to reduce emissions over time.

There are also three options on financial support – new money from developed nations to meet the full costs of complying with the agreement; the second notes that developing countries are “eligible for support” and the third noting that developing countries will implement their commitments if money and support is provided.

The text also calls for a review every five years, and says countries should encourage planting forestry to 'trap' carbon.

NGOs are calling for commitments to reduce emissions from governments, called intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs), to be reviewed from 2018.

The country delegations will formally respond tonight at the Comite de Paris meeting. Negotiations are expected to continue overnight, and delegates have been asked to be prepared to make compromises.

Greenpeace said some of the text appeared "smeared with the fingerprints" of the oil-producing states, adding that negotiators had three days to "force the worst stuff out and get a decent deal"

"It’s crunch-time now, it’s going be hard, but there’s a lot still to fight for. It’s good that a temperature goal of 1.5C is still there," it said.

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