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Saturday 24 March 2018

Many issues unresolved at climate conference, says French minister

Leonardo DiCapri with his father George listening to speeches at Paris City Hall (AP)
Leonardo DiCapri with his father George listening to speeches at Paris City Hall (AP)

The hosts of critical climate talks near Paris say multiple issues remain unresolved as negotiators face a midway deadline.

French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said: "What can we conclude at this stage? We're not there yet."

Climate negotiators are to submit the latest draft of a potential accord to fight global warming on Saturday. The document will then go to government ministers for further discussion.

Mr Fabius told reporters it is "imperative" to reach an accord by the end of the conference, scheduled for December 11.

But Christina Figueres, head of the UN climate change agency, said: "There is no one single issue that is currently on the table that will be finalised."

Neither would spell out what the remaining sticking points are.

Earlier, F rench President Francois Hollande encouraged mayors of the world to get involved in fighting climate change and praised those who are already setting an example with low-emission buildings and public transport policies.

Mr Hollande said: "No region in the world can feel protected from climate disorder."

He said that by 2050, two-thirds of mankind may be living in cities, and urged mayors to keep urban growth under control.

On Friday morning activists staged a "die-in" at the climate talks, collapsing on to the pavement to represent vulnerable populations threatened by rising seas and extreme weather prompted by man-made global warming.

"Climate Justice Now!" chanted two dozen activists, some on the ground and some standing holding photos of poor countries that are feeling the effects of global warming.

The activists want the accord to include promises of aid for the losses and damages caused by global warming.

Ms Figueres, chief of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, insisted that an international accord should include legally binding parts.

She also said it is impossible to quantify how much it will cost the world to clean up and protect people affected by climate change.

Five days into the talks "we are where we thought we could be", she said, adding that her greatest concern at this point is "that everyone remains focused, that everyone gets a least a minimum of sleep, that everyone remains healthy so that they can all do the work that needs to be done".

Press Association

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