[DIRECT] #COP21 Laurent Fabius: “The world is holding its breath, it’s counting on us”

Conférence des Nations Unies sur les changements climatiques - COP21 (Paris, Le Bourget)

© Benjamin Géminel

We are only a few hours away from the end of COP21, which must lead to a universal agreement in order to combat climate change. 195 countries must reach an agreement on how to lower greenhouse gas emissions which are responsible for global warming, how to allow the countries most affected by this phenomenon to adapt to rising water levels and desertification, and how to find the financial resources necessary for the energy transition around the world. Never has a conference seen such a mobilization as the 150 Heads of State who arrived in Paris on 30 November.

COP21 President Laurent Fabius is negotiating this agreement which is so important for the future of humanity with the French climate team and the United Nations.

A week of negotiations

Saturday 12 December: the D-Day

They arrived at the same time. On Saturday, 12 December, at the opening of the Comité de Paris, François Hollande, President of the French Republic and UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon joined Laurent Fabius President of COP21. They gathered to present the final draft of the Paris Agreement (read it online).

Read Laurent Fabius, president of COP21’s speech.

Friday 11 December: a marathon day for the negotiators

7.30 p.m.: the President of COP21, Laurent Fabius, spoke to the press about the progress made during the intense day of negotiations. He reaffirmed his aim of presenting a new text tomorrow in a plenary session at 9 a.m.

12.00 : after working through two nights, the negotiators have set back to work to find the necessary compromises. COP21 President Laurent Fabius and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon held a press briefing at around 12:30. “We are almost at the finishing line. I am optimistic”, Laurent Fabius started by saying. He then went on, saying “I will be able to present a text to all the parties tomorrow morning at 9:00.” The United Nations Secretary-General commended Laurent Fabius’ diplomatic efforts, then continued by saying that he was convinced that the negotiators would be able to produce a strong, ambitious agreement.

Thursday 10 December: another all-night session in prospect
The COP21 President has given the delegates until 11:30 p.m. to study the new text which he submitted to them at the latest Paris Committee, convened at 9 p.m. The 196 Parties must gather for a meeting in “Indaba” format chaired by Laurent Fabius, an “Indaba for solutions”, as he called it, which will exclusively focus on seeking compromises. If there are any difficulties, one of the facilitators will gather the relevant Heads of Delegation in another room, with an obligation to return with a solution within a given time period, between 30 and 45 minutes. This compromise wording will then be presented in Indaba format. “Based on the progress made, I believe that tomorrow I will be able to submit my final proposed text to the Paris Committee”, declared the COP21 President before closing the session.

Wednesday 9 December
8 p.m. The COP21 President proposed a new working method in the plenary session of the Paris Committee. He proposed to the parties two meetings in “Indaba” format, restricted to parties at the level of Heads of Delegation. “Tonight will we have to strike the overall balance of the text and move forward to resolve political issues with a view to the final agreement”, he explained (see his address). Further information.
3 p.m.:00 : initially scheduled for 1 p.m., the new text was finally submitted to the plenary of the Paris Committee at 3 p.m. The COP21 President welcomed the progress made, with the text reduced from 43 to 29 pages compared with the previous version and three-quarters of the items between square brackets deleted. “We have made progress, but there is still work to be done”, he cautioned. “Three cross-cutting issues must be discussed in detail: differentiation, financing and the level of ambition of the agreement”. The 196 Parties have until 8 p.m., when a new Paris Committee will be convened, to study these new instructions.

Tuesday, 8 December: a new text announced for Wednesday
The President of COP21 announced that he would present a “clean text” to the 196 Parties at 13:00 on Wednesday, based on the ADP text with amendments on the basis of advice from the ADP facilitators and supplemented by the recommendations of the facilitators, submitted beforehand. Further information.

Monday, 7 December: first meeting of the Paris Committee
The Paris Committee met for the first time in plenary format. The facilitators discussed the consultations carried out since the previous day. Further information.

Sunday, 6 December: “ambassadors of consensus”
Laurent Fabius named the 14 Ministers responsible for assisting him in the consultations. These facilitators work in pairs (one representative of a country of the North, and another representing a country of the South) on one of the issues which are conditions for the agreement to be reached. Further information.

Saturday, 5 December: a new text and a new working method

  • 19:00: Laurent Fabius presented the new working method chosen, which involves the creation of the “Paris Committee”, an open-ended consultation forum he chairs himself. Further information.
  • 12:00: the ADP group adopted the new draft agreement in its plenary session. France now shoulders the full role of the presidency in the negotiations. Further information.


  • Saturday, 12 December: adoption of the agreement expected in the middle of the day.


Christiana Figueres

Laurent Fabius



Last version:

Saturday 12/13/2015 at 1:30 pm – Download the PDF


Summary of 10 December Text



Agreement is:

  • 12 pages.
  • 29 Articles, including bis and ter Articles.
  • 5 sets of options, including sub-options.



Decision is:

  • 15 pages, including Workstream 2 which on its own is 5 pages.
  • 1 set of options, including sub-options.



There is a total of 48 sets of brackets, 32 in Agreement, 16 in Decision.


Comparison to 9 December Draft Text, there are now:

  • 58% fewer sets of options in the Agreement.
  • 86% fewer sets of options in the Decision.
  • 86% fewer brackets across Agreement and Decision.

Summary of 9 December Text



Agreement is:

  • 14 pages.
  • 29 Articles, including bis and ter Articles.
  • 12 sets of options, including sub-options.



Decision is:

  • 15 pages, including Workstream 2 which on its own is 5 pages.
  • 7 sets of options, including sub-options.



There is a total of 350 sets of brackets, 220 in Agreement, 130 in Decision.


Comparison to 5 December Draft Text, there are now:

  • 33% fewer sets of options in the Agreement.
  • 72% fewer sets of options in the Decision.
  • 78% fewer brackets across Agreement and Decision.