With new climate draft, a deal creeps closer in Paris

A participant poses with a replica of the planet during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21).
A participant poses with a replica of the planet during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 (COP21).PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (Reuters) - After 11 days of face-to-face negotiations in Paris, a slimmer but still-troubled draft of a global climate agreement was released on Wednesday (Dec 9), revealing countries remain divided over several core issues.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who is chairing the talks, unveiled the latest draft that followed three days and nights of backroom negotiations aimed at breaking some of the thorniest problems.

Foremost among them is who shoulders the cost of moving the world to a low-carbon energy system and how often nations should be prompted to accelerate their efforts.

"On these issues I ask you to scale up your consultations to speedily come to compromise solutions," Fabius said, addressing the conference.

He said the new draft text was 29 pages long, against 43 on Saturday, and three-quarters of the points of dispute had been settled.

"We've made progress but still a lot of work remains to be done," he said. "Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed."

Negotiators from 195 countries have gathered on the outskirts of Paris seeking common ground for controlling greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet and disrupting the climate.

But they have many different visions of how to do so.