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World Awaits Climate Pact After 17:30 UTC (12:30 EST) Today

It’s almost time. Two weeks of intense talks—round-the-clock on three occasions—at the UN COP21 climate summit in Paris may bear fruit in just a few hours.

Presidential announcement of completion of third Paris climate draft (UNFCCC)

If delegates adopt a third officially proposed climate text, all countries will have agreed to limit their greenhouse gas emissions. Probably not enough to arrest changes within the next three decades or so, but likely to assure a world habitable for humans and perhaps half of other current species in the year 2100.

France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, President of the conference, said moments ago that the final draft of the pact, shortened again, was fair and legally binding and would limit warming to “well below 2 degrees C.”

“It’s my deep conviction that we have come up with an ambitious and balanced agreement.”—Laurent Fabius

International delegates in Paris will receive the text proposed by Fabius in all six official UN languages within the hour. The COP will resume at 3:45 UTC (10:45 EST). At that time, having read the text, delegates will discuss it. Leaders hope it will pass unanimously. (See our previous coverage on CleanTechnica here.)

Meanwhile, M. Fabius has suggested that everyone adjourn for lunch. He said nothing about champagne, knowing that official country votes on the climate agreement must still be counted. However, the gist of his speech, emphatically repeated by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and French President Francois Hollande, concludes:

“[The new text] confirms our key objective, the objective which is vital, that of continuing to have a mean temperature well below two degrees and to endeavour to limit that increase to one point five degrees.”

The world leaders view it as having surmounted the principal obstacles of differentiation of rich vs. poor nations, the wording of an actual temperature goal, and provision of adequate oversight at intervals following its adoption. The US, through the presence of Secretary of State John Kerry, has promised that the pact will be legally binding despite the sour political attitude of a Republican Congress. All we are waiting for is 196 votes.

 

(Updated with links 8:42 EST, time 10:28 EST.)

 
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Written By

covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."

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