THE WORLD AWAITS
COP President, Laurent Fabius and UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres standing on the verge of an historic agreement.
It was a waiting game for many on the penultimate day of COP21 yesterday. Ministers and their senior negotiators had worked through Wednesday night, meaning that the Paris Committee reconvened on Thursday.
Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister and COP President, presented a revised text at 9:00pm to the Parties. Fabius explained that the new text took into account the formal and informal discussions that had occurred over the past day. He noted that the text was shorter and contained less brackets but that the most complex issues - differentiation, finance and ambition remained to be resolved. On these issues, options were presented.
The COP President asked Parties to look at the text with a fresh perspective and the final agreement in mind, stating it was “time we come to an agreement.” It was important that everyone was responsibile for finding common ground.
The meeting closed not without comments from Parties but with a strong round of applause. Parties were given time to consider the text before reconvening at 11.30pm. Negotiations continued through the night. Parties were directed to focus on finding compromise solutions on outstanding issues. Minister Fabius told Parties, “what is important now is to seek landing zones and compromise.”
As this paper went to press it was uncertain exactly what ministers would deliver during the night. However, initial analysis of the new text suggested there was a sound basis for a strong, ambitious and potentially transformative outcome, as we reported yesterday.
This deal must include a long-term goal that ensures a clear trajectory to a thriving global clean economy by the middle of this century. It must have a mechanism to increase ambition for all parties every five years starting in 2020. It needs to mobilize billions to unlock trillions. It must establish a strong transparent system for actions to build confidence and trust among Parties, so that business can act with confidence. It must enable the role of carbon pricing to drive innovation and change in the real economy. And it must put in place measures to ensure we protect the vulnerable and build resilient communities.
In the last two weeks we have witnessed a remarkable coming together of minds and visions. It is clear that across governments, the private sector and civil society, the desire and enthusiasm for addressing climate change is now inevitable, irreversible and irresistible.
We already know that Paris has changed the way the world will deal with climate change for the better. The only question remaining is how fast the transformation will be. By the end of today we should know the answer. It is now up to ministers to deliver. The world is waiting.