A climate deal final draft text has been reached after nearly two weeks of intensive negotiations, Paris climate talks organizers say.
An official in the office of French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told the AFP the draft would be presented to ministers on December 12.
No details of the proposed agreement have been released so far.
The tentative deal was reached nearly 16 hours after the talks had been scheduled to close.
“We have a text to present,” the official said, adding that the draft would be now translated into the UN’s six official languages.
According to analysts, this is not a done deal – it will only be finally adopted if there are no objections raised at today’s ministerial meeting, and even this is unlikely to come before afternoon in Paris.
Laurent Fabius, who has presided over the talks, had said earlier that the “conditions were never better” for a strong and ambitious agreement.
One positive note came with the announcement that Brazil was willing to join the so-called “high-ambition coalition” of countries including the EU, the US and 79 countries. The alliance said it would push for an ambitious and legally binding deal with a strong review mechanism.
President Barack Obama spoke to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping by phone on December 11, with both leaders saying they were committed to an “ambitious” deal.
“Both leaders agreed that the Paris conference presents a crucial opportunity to galvanize global efforts to meet the climate change challenge,” a White House statement said.
“They committed that their negotiating teams in Paris would continue to work closely together and with others to realize the vision of an ambitious climate agreement.”
COP 21 – the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties – will see more than 190 nations gather in Paris to discuss a possible new global agreement on climate change, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the threat of dangerous warming due to human activities.
Major points of contention include:
Limits: The UN has endorsed a goal of limiting global warming to no more than 2C over pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. But more than 100 poorer countries and low-lying, small-island states are calling for a tougher goal of 1.5C.
Fairness: Developing nations say industrialized countries should do more to cut emissions, having polluted for much longer. However, rich countries insist that the burden must be shared to reach the 2C target.
Money: One of the few firm decisions from the 2009 UN climate conference in Copenhagen was a pledge from rich economies to provide $100 billion (93 billion euros) a year in financial support for poor countries from 2020 to develop technology and build infrastructure to cut emissions. Where that money will come from and how it will be distributed has yet to be agreed.
World leaders are gathering in Paris amid tight security for a critical UN climate meeting.
The 21st session of the Conference of the Parties, known as COP21, starts on November 30 and will try to craft a long-term deal to limit carbon emissions.
Observers say that the recent terror attacks in Paris will increase the chances of a new agreement.
Around 40,000 people are expected to participate in the event, which runs until December 11.
The gathering of 147 heads of state and government is set to be far bigger than the 115 or so who came to Copenhagen in 2009, the last time the world came close to agreeing a long term deal on climate change.
While many leaders including Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping were always set to attend this conference, the recent violent attacks in Paris have encouraged others to come in an expression of solidarity with the French people.
Unlike at Copenhagen, the French organizers are bringing the leaders in at the start of the conference rather than waiting for them to come in at the end, a tactic which failed spectacularly in the Danish capital.
Delegates are in little doubt that the shadow cast over the city by the attacks will enhance the chances of agreement.
While the mood music around the event is very positive, there are still considerable differences between the parties.
One key problem is what form an agreement will take. The US for instance will not sign up to a legally binding deal as there would be little hope of getting it through a Senate dominated by Republicans.
“We’re looking for an agreement that has broad, really full participation,” said US lead negotiator Todd Stern at a news briefing earlier this week.
“We were quite convinced that an agreement that required actually legally binding targets would have many countries unable to participate.”
Many developing countries fundamentally disagree, as does the European Union.
“We must translate the momentum we have seen on the road to Paris into an ambitious, operational, legally binding agreement,” said EU commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, in a statement.
As well as the form there are also many issues with the content.
There are a wide range of views on what the long-term goal of the agreement should be.
While it will ostensibly come down to keeping temperatures from rising more than 2C above the pre-industrial level, how that will be represented in the text is the subject of much wrangling.
Some countries reject the very notion of 2C and say 1.5C must be the standard. Others want to talk about decarbonising the world by the middle or end of this century.
For major oil producers the very idea is anathema.
While the fact that more than 180 countries have put forward national plans to cut emissions is a major strength of this conference, there are still big questions marks about how to verify those commitments that will actually be carried out.
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