Ban Ki-moon calls Paris climate talks `most complicated and difficult` ever

  11 December 2015    Read: 601
Ban Ki-moon calls Paris climate talks `most complicated and difficult` ever
The UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has said the international climate talks that are edging towards a conclusion in Paris have been the most complicated and difficult negotiations he has ever been involved in.
Ban said that differences still remain among the nearly 200 governments searching for a climate deal in Paris but he urged negotiators to set aside their national interests to reach a compromise.

“This is not a moment of talking about national perspectives. A good global solution will help good local solutions,” he said. “I am urging and appealing to all the state parties to take the final decision for humanity.”

“I have been attending many difficult multilateral negotiations, but by any standard, this negotiation is most complicated, most difficult, but most important for humanity. We have just very limited hours remaining,” he added.

Ban was speaking as a fortnight of negotiations near their end, with governments seeking a legally-binding deal on curbing carbon emissions beyond 2020, when current commitments end. Around 150 leaders including Barack Obama and Xi Jinping, of the world’s two biggest emitting countries, attended the summit at the start but have since made way to politicians and negotiators who kept talking through Wednesday and Thursday nights.

“We are almost at the end of the road,” said Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister and president of the talks, who had stayed up into the early hours of Friday after a draft deal was published on Thursday night. He confirmed that a new draft text would be published on Saturday at 9am CET, rather than Friday evening as originally planned.

The leading economist Lord Stern said that despite the delays, relations between governments were much better than at previous summits.

“The atmosphere between the parties has been the best that I have seen in the last 10 years of COPs. That’s founded on the recognition of the magnitude of the risks, and recognition of how we combine poverty reduction, development and climate responsibility: that’s been a key element in the spirit we’ve seen here.”

Michael Jacobs, who was Gordon Brown’s climate adviser and now works for the New Climate Economy, said the biggest differences overnight were on transparency and finance.

“But there is no reason to see why countries shouldn’t resolve those,” he said. “I don’t read anything into this extra delay.”

Protests are planned across Paris on Saturday, with thousands of red tulips to be given out by civil groups to represent red lines they say should not be crossed, and a rally under the Eiffel Tower when a deal is reached.

“There is still a lot of work ahead,” said Tasneem Essop, WWF’s head of delegation to the Paris talks.

More about: