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Postcards from Paris: A diary from the UN climate talks (Days 3&4)


I’m in Paris for the UN climate talks, which run from 30 November to 11 December 2015. I’ll be regularly tweeting and blogging. If you find this blog interesting please feel to share it.


DAYS 3&4 (Wednesday 2 December & Thursday 3 December 2015)

On Thursday morning we awoke to a new draft compilation negotiating text.

Overall, the text is mostly unchanged from what parties were working with going into Paris.

It is clear that progress has been too slow. The text is now a whole one page shorter. Trust me, this is progress.

Also on the plus side, it was good to see that despite some fears that the text had not ballooned further with lots of new insertions.

A new COP21 draft compilation negotiating text. (Lang Banks)A new COP21 draft compilation negotiating text. (Lang Banks)

Negotiators have pulled together a text that has the core elements of the kind of agreement that heads of state said they wanted to see in their scene-setting speeches earlier this week. However, the changes so far are a mixed bag.

In some areas the options are now clearer and better structured, but generally we still have very divergent options in this version of the text.

The next big critical moment is likely to be this Saturday, when we will discover whether or not this part of the talks can be closed on time. If we are to make meaningful progress, then it’s important that next week’s High Level segment starts with a text that is clearly structured, with options refined, and includes an indication of where agreement has been reached and where disagreements remain. This would allow the ministers who arrive to focus on resolving the remaining difficult issues.

WWF press conference at COP21 (Steve Ertel)WWF press conference at COP21 (Steve Ertel)

We’re still early in the process, but negotiators have a lot of work to do if they’re going to turn this draft negotiating text into an ambitious and fair agreement.

As is often the way at these events, finding all the solutions to protect the world from the ravages of climate change is going to take hard negotiations, multiple drafts, and probably many long nights.

For all the latest on the climate talks be sure to follow @LangBanks on Twitter.

You can also read previous ‘Postcards form Paris here:  DAY 0, DAYS 1&2

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