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Paris climate talks: 2nd draft text cause for cautious optimism

Media Release
Richard Di Natale 10 Dec 2015

A new draft text has been released overnight at the UN climate talks in Paris, where Australian Greens leader Richard Di Natale has responded with cautious optimism.

"This draft text, if agreed to in coming days, sets the basis for a constructive global agreement but far more work will be needed to seriously scale up ambition and action over coming years," said Senator Di Natale, who's at COP21.

"It's looking like an agreement will be reached here in Paris but it will have to be treated as a starting point, because it still looks set to fall well short of what's ultimately required to avoid catastrophic global warming.

"While the final language on the overall target is unresolved, it will be based on limiting global warming to 2 degrees. A general reference to 1.5 degrees is still in play, which if included, will provide incentive for forward-thinking countries to plan ahead for tougher global targets in the future.

"On the issue of reporting, there's agreement for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to produce a ‘Special Report' in 2018 on the impacts of a 1.5 degree temperature rise on our climate, and recommendations on measures to reach this more ambitious target. There is also agreement on more rigorous five yearly reporting, but not until 2023/4.

"The imperative for nations to set a deadline to totally decarbonise their economies has also survived the drafting process so far, but the extent to which they'll be required to ratchet up ambition to reduce carbon pollution after 2020 remains uncertain.

"Adaptation to global warming has been recognised as a central part of the agreement, which is a break through," Senator Di Natale said.

"While attempts to reach agreement on compensation to poor countries for the impacts of climate change, or ‘loss and damage', have been kicked down the road, it is recognised as an important part of any future deal.

"The critical issue of climate finance to help poor countries develop without massively increasing their emissions remains a major stumbling block. We're still seeing substantial disagreements between rich and poor countries over whether finance is allowed to come from the domestic aid budgets of rich countries, as well as how much countries are required to contribute and what financial commitments they'll be obliged to make after 2020."


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