The French COP21 Presidency has presented a final draft agreement


12 Dec The French COP21 Presidency has presented a final draft agreement

On Saturday, 12 December at 11:30, a final draft agreement was presented to the representatives of the 195 countries by the French COP21 Presidency, during a plenary session charged with emotion and punctuated by applause.

The compromise text is “fair, sustainable, dynamic, balanced and legally binding”, declared the President of COP21, Laurent Fabius, in a trembling voice, on the verge of tears.   “If it is adopted, this text will mark a historic turning point,” continued Fabius, who was applauded several times by delegates who rose from their seats. He thanked them, standing with his hand on his heart. “We are almost at the end of the road, and no doubt at the start of another,” he emphasized, calling on the countries to “not let the unique opportunity that is within our grasp slip through our fingers.” He encouraged them to read the text carefully and to meet at 15:45 to adopt it.

“This text, which we have built together, […] is the best balance possible, a balance which is both powerful and fragile, which will enable each delegation, each group of countries, to return home with their heads held high, having gained a lot,” continued the COP21 President.

In terms of content, the project confirms the goal of “holding the increase in average temperature to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit this increase to 1.5°C, which would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change”, he noted.   On the thorny issue of finance, the text provides that the $100 billion promised every year by the developed countries to help developing countries fund their climate policies will be a “a floor for post-2020”. “A new quantified target will need to be set by 2025 at the latest,” added the President. “Success is within reach of all our hands working together. Together, in this room, you are going to decide on a historic agreement.

The world is waiting with bated breath and is counting on us all,” he concluded.   His call was repeated on the podium by the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, who called upon the countries to “finish the job” by adopting the agreement presented.

The President of the French Republic, François Hollande, hammered the point home, calling upon the delegates to “make the decisive step” of adopting this agreement within the day, making this “12 December a day that is not only historic, but a date for humanity.”

“France is asking you – France is begging you – to adopt the first universal climate agreement in our history,” appealed Hollande.

The text (PDF, English only) was published online at 13:30, while it was being translated into the six UN languages (French, English, Chinese, Arabic, Russian and Spanish). The 196 Parties are set to meet for a plenary session of the Paris Committee at 15:45 before the agreement is hopefully adopted.

(with AFP)