From: World Wildlife Foundation
Published December 7, 2015 08:00 AM

COP21 enters critical phase today

Government ministers arrive in Paris today as climate talks enter their second week. The ministers add high-level influence to the climate negotiations and can help unlock critical elements of a new climate deal.

“It’s going to be quite a sprint for ministers to secure a strong deal by Friday,” said Tasneem Essop, head of WWF’s delegation to the COP21 climate talks. “The French presidency now has the responsibility to take us to the finish line.”

Negotiators released new negotiating texts over the course of last week, but much work remains on critical issues of how to reduce carbon emissions prior to when a new deal takes hold in 2020, and how to increase national commitments on carbon emission cuts from 2020 forward.

“The draft negotiating text, while more clear in terms of options, still reflects most of the divergences amongst countries,” said Essop. “We’re hoping that in the rush to the end, ministers do not trade ambition for expediency, and remain true to the science.”

The second week of the climate talks opens under the theme of renewable energy, with several events organized to focus on the importance of moving away from fossil fuels. Already at the climate talks, a number of major announcements from India and the African Renewable Energy Initiative demonstrate the ability and willingness of the world to move toward a renewable energy future.

 

COP21 concept image via Shutterstock.

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