COP21: Draft climate change agreement released

A draft of the possible agreement for tackling climate change has been released. The 29-page document, whittled down from 43 pages, was submitted to the plenary of the Paris Committee […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

A draft of the possible agreement for tackling climate change has been released.

The 29-page document, whittled down from 43 pages, was submitted to the plenary of the Paris Committee at the COP21 conference yesterday evening.

It includes an option for nations to agree to a maximum increase in global temperatures of no more than 1.5°C by the end of the century.

That’s far more ambitious than the 2°C target the world must stay below, recommended by scientists, to avoid the dangerous effects of climate change.

The other two of the three options to hold the increase in the global average temperature are:

       > Below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and

       > “Well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels [and to [rapidly] scale up global efforts to limit temperature increase to below 1.5°C], [while recognising that in some regions and vulnerable ecosystems high risks are projected even for warming above 1.5°C]”.

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The document still contains a lot of square brackets, which means options for negotiators and politicians remain in the next few days.

They will need to be debated in order to come up with a final agreement.

COP21 President Laurent Fabius said: “We have made progress but there is still work to be done. Three cross-cutting issues must be discussed in detail: differentiation, financing and the level of ambition of the agreement.”

The agreement must be concluded today so the final legal checks and translation into six UN languages – English, French, Russian, Arabic, Chinese and Spanish – can be carried out.