Date
17 January 2017
French foreign affairs minister Laurent Fabius visits the site of next month's World Climate Summit at Le Bourget, near Paris. Photo: Reuters
French foreign affairs minister Laurent Fabius visits the site of next month's World Climate Summit at Le Bourget, near Paris. Photo: Reuters

Paris meeting makes headway on greenhouse gas issues

Representatives of around 70 countries met in Paris on Tuesday to pave the way for a global greenhouse emissions summit next month.

The ministers established some principles regarding two contentious issues — financing for poorer countries and how to ramp up commitments to cut emissions in the future, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“An ambitious compromise is within reach,” French foreign affairs minister Laurent Fabius said. But he also noted that “a considerable task lies ahead”.

Fabius will preside over the United Nations conference on greenhouse emissions in Paris in December, known as COP21.

The slow progress shows that the climate talks, despite years of careful preparation and diplomacy. may still fail to secure a global agreement on emissions, the newspaper said.

Rich and poor countries remain at odds over how to finance projects to limit emissions and combat the effects of rising temperatures and sea levels.

Developed countries have pledged to raise the value of grants and loans provided to poorer states to tackle climate change to US$100 billion a year by 2020.

However, poor countries disagree on how the financing is accounted for and say that the sums required are far greater.

Negotiators say many developing countries may refuse to sign up to any agreement in next month’s summit if the funding issues are not resolved.

In the informal talks over the last three days, progress was made on how to revise commitments to cut emissions, Fabius said.

Studies showed that current pledges will be insufficient to meet the goal of limiting the rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius.

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