Key information on the last meeting prior to COP21


08 Nov Key information on the last meeting prior to COP21

Considerable mobilization by ministers from different countries

More than 60 ministers travelled to Paris (list of ministers present: here) at the invitation of Mr Laurent Fabius, incoming President of COP21, for three days of work. The aim of this last meeting ahead of the Climate Conference was to explore possible compromises, generate political momentum in this final straight and to prepare the resumption of negotiations as soon as COP21 is opened.

The pre-COP follows on from the informal ministerial consultations held in July and September (further information) by Mr Laurent Fabius, French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and the Peruvian Minister of the Environment and President of COP20, Mr Manuel Pulgar-Vidal.

All the major greenhouse gas-emitters will be represented, including the United States, Canada, Australia, the EU and several of its Member States, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Many countries that are particularly vulnerable to climate change, such as Bangladesh, Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and Niger, are also invited. In total, 70 countries were represented in Paris.

Before the opening of the pre-COP, a visit to the COP21 site preparation work in Le Bourget was organized (further information).

Four themes on the agenda
The ministers spend three days working in groups with, for each group, two ministers playing the role of facilitating the discussions. Four themes ont the agenda : ambition ; fairness ; post-2020 financing et pre-2020.

“A major step forward”

To begin the closing press conference of the pre-COP on Tuesday, 10 November, Laurent Fabius chose to recall the news to emphasize the urgency of taking action: the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)’s announcement of a record concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere in 2014, and that by the World Bank of the risk of 100 million people falling into extreme poverty by 2030 if efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change are not taken. “Faced with the seriousness of these threats, which shake geopolitical, economic and social balances and threaten populations, we have an obligation to succeed”, said Fabius, alongside Manuel Pulgar-Vidal and Christiana Figueres. “By holding the pre-COP, we have made an important step forward ahead of the Paris Conference, but we remain more mobilized than ever.”

For her part, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) highlighted that this pre-COP was the most important ever organized in the history of the Conference of the Parties, as well as being the most productive.

Conclusions of the pre-COP

Download the aide-mémoire of the ministerial preparatory meeting ahead of COP21 : here.

New national contributions

Three national contributions were published during the pre-COP: Saudi Arabia (here), Sudan (here) and Egypt (here). Saudi Arabia’s national contribution, one of the ten largest CO2 emitters, marks an additional commitment for all countries towards an agreement in Paris. In total, 159 countries have submitted their roadmap for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Further information about the UNFCC’s report on the contributions : here.

Further information about the negotiating text that will be discussed in Paris : here.