New climate text shows fewer hurdles to Paris deal

Reuters

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Hosts France proposed a slimmer draft text at global climate talks on Thursday that leaves major issues unresolved, including finance for developing nations.
The new text is 27 pages, against 29 on Wednesday.
Almost 200 nations are meeting in Paris, seeking a turning point away from an increasing reliance on fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution.
The meeting is due to finish on Friday, Dec. 11, but could run longer.
Following are details of the new draft:
FINANCE
Developed nations promised in 2009 to mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020 from both public and private sources to help developing nations limit their greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to more floods, heat waves and rising sea levels.
The new text says nations will mobilize finance beyond a floor of $100 billion per year, to be mobilized by developed countries.
LONG-TERM GOAL
The text says the aim is to limit the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The phrasing is a shift from a text on Wednesday which gave three options: to hold temperature rises below 2 degrees, well below 2 degrees or below 1.5 degrees.
Global average surface temperatures have already risen by about 1.0C (1.8F).
Options have also been removed from aspirations on vaguer long-term goals.
Instead of net zero emissions after the middle of the 21st century or by the end, the parties will aim to reach the peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, aiming to reach greenhouse gas emissions neutrality in the second half of the century.
China and India, heavily dependent on coal, are among those reluctant to set clear dates for giving up fossil fuels they see as vital to lifting millions from poverty. Saudi Arabia, whose economy also depends on oil, is also a clear opponent.
LOSS AND DAMAGE
Debate on loss and damage is unresolved.
Developing nations want a long-term mechanism to help them cope with loss and damage from disasters such as typhoons or the impacts of a creeping rise of sea level rise.
All governments set up a loss and damage mechanism in 2013, but it has so far done little.
The new text recognizes the importance of averting, minimizing and addressing loss and damage, but leaves divergent options under discussion, including one that leaves out the mechanism.
RAISING AMBITION
The United Nations says promises by 186 nations to curb greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2020, already made, are too weak to limit rising temperatures to an agreed 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times.
That means there will have to be a system to ratchet up action, but it is poorly defined.
The draft suggest that countries should take stock of efforts in 2019, and then follow up with a more formal stocktake in 2023 to guide countries in updating their pledges, and then every five years thereafter.
CARBON MARKETS
The draft contains no explicit mention of carbon markets, nor of the possibility of carbon penalties for aviation and shipping. It does, however, include a reference to "use of internationally transferred emission reductions", which carbon analysts say can be read as markets.
DIFFERENTIATION
Developing nations say that rich nations, as defined in a 1992 Convention, should continue to take the lead in cutting emissions and providing finance. Developed nations argue that many of these countries, such as Singapore and South Korea, have since become wealthy and should do more.
The new text says developed nations should take the lead in finding money from a wide variety of sources, as part of a shared effort by all parties.
LEGAL FORCE
All nations agreed in 2011 that the Paris deal will have some form of "legal force". The draft leaves the issue unresolved, saying in line with previous texts that it will be either a "protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force".

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