COP21: New draft deal addresses some of India’s demands


PARIS:  In a vindication of India’s principled diplomacy, a new shorter draft unveiled after intense negotiations has incorporated many key issues raised by Indian negotiators like sustainable lifestyle. With this latest development, the COP21 summit in Paris inched closer to a deal with the crucial climate change conference entering into the final stretch of talks. 

The 27-page draft, which is two pages shorter than the previous draft, was released in the late hours of December 10 after two days of ministerial consultations. The new draft incorporates major progress as well as differences.  Presenting the draft, France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius discussed the newly included key issues which India had raised such as “sustainable lifestyle”, principles based on equity and common but differentiated responsibilities as is there in the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“On the eve of the stated end of our conference, we can move to a decisive step to reach a final agreement. I am submitting a new draft to you (nations),” Mr Fabius said. “I would like you (nations) to look at the document in a new perspective with final agreement in mind. We want an agreement. We are extremely close to finishing line. Is time to come to an agreement,” he added.

Final agreement

According to various environmental groups, what has appeared in the draft is not good enough. The ministers need to resolve the final outstanding issues, as the summit is almost coming to a close. The fresh draft negotiating text is under discussion by the ministers. The final agreement aims to reach an accord to curb green house gas emissions.

“The document is slightly shorter. There are some brackets. Some complex issues still remain brackets like finance, differentiation and ambition which needs to be discussed in the coming hours,” Mr Fabius said.

The draft was circulated to the nations at one of the session which was convened in the late hours of December 10.

Attacking the developed countries for adopting extravagant lifestyles compared to its need based consumption, India has been asserting that that only “sustainable” lifestyles can mitigate the climate change challenge. Mr Fabius said that each party was able to express its opinion about the draft and the interventions were useful to clarify the detail of the text.

“It was a long and intensive night of work. This allowed us to make progress,” Mr Fabius said, adding that it was convened to seek “landing zones” for the final agreement.

The negotiating text aims to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius of warming, and a reference to a 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature limit was made in the revised draft.

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