Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

Ten days to save Merkel? German leader under pressure over border policy

Read more

FOCUS

Alarmingly high rates of HIV among China's youth

Read more

ENCORE!

Samira Wiley, Darren Criss & Neal McDonough at Monte-Carlo Television Festival

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Violence against trangender women in Indonesia, and more

Read more

IN THE PRESS

'The frozen heart of America': Condemnation as migrant families torn apart in US

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'There are two policies towards Russia in the Trump administration'

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Grandmas Project: 'Their history was passed down through food'

Read more

ACROSS AFRICA

Mali's basketball star: NBA top player Cheick Diallo makes hometown proud

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Trump threatens huge new tariffs on China

Read more

COP21

Countries struggle to reach final COP 21 agreement

© Martin Bureau, AFP | French Foreign Affairs minister Laurent Fabius works in his office during the COP 21 UN climate conference on December 10, 2015

Text by Joseph BAMAT , special correspondent at the COP 21 climate conference

Latest update : 2015-12-11

Negotiators gathered at the COP 21 climate conference in Paris are within reach of a final, historic deal, but remaining differences extended the talks into Saturday.

The deadline to reach an international agreement to limit greenhouse gas emissions and avert catastrophic global warming was pushed into the weekend, after sleep-deprived negotiators worked until 6am (GMT+1) on Friday.

Standing alongside UN chief Ban Ki-Moon, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told reporters he would be able to present a final text as early as 9 a.m. on Saturday and wrap up the show by noon.

However, a plenary session scheduled for Friday was abruptly cancelled, casting doubt on the new timetable.

A UN official told FRANCE 24 that it was likely that at least 90 percent of the agreement would be adopted in a plenary session on Saturday, and if there were any outstanding points, they would be placed in an appendix to be discussed at a future UNFCCC meeting.

Civil society groups that have been closely monitoring the negotiations at Le Bourget convention centre, said there was real progress in a few key areas of the discussions.

Many were pleased to see that the agreement would mention 1.5° Celsius as the ideal limit in warming compared to pre-Industrial Revolution levels, although the reference to "well below 2° Celsius" had also been kept.

Advances were also reported in establishing a financial package for developing nations after the year 2020, although Japan and Switzerland expressed concern about committing to specific funds that far in the future.

Roadblocks remain

Sticking points nevertheless remained, with some officials saying the long night of negotiations had soured the mood between countries.

Saudia Arabia and Iraq - two of the world's largest oil producers - rejected including references to carbon pricing in the agreement, according to Matthieu Orphelin of the Nicolas Hulot Foundation. Putting a price tag on fossil fuel-related products is something Nordic countries, among others, hoped the world could make progress on.

Orphelin also told reporters that India and China had strenuously opposed periodic reviews that would require them to expand cuts to CO2 emissions.

Jeremy Pivor, of the US-based SustainUS group, accused US negotiators of "holding [the talks] hostage by trying to bury language about "compensation and liability" for the poorest countries.

Pivor said rejecting such language went against President Barack Obama's keynote speech in Paris two weeks ago, in which he called on countries to show solidarity with those most affected by climate change.

Date created : 2015-12-11

  • COP 21

    Will human rights take backseat in rush for climate deal?

    Read more

  • COP 21

    Video: 'Pope Francis wants an ambitious and equitable climate agreement'

    Read more

  • COP 21

    Climate talks go into overtime, deadline pushed to Saturday

    Read more

COMMENT(S)