Climate Envoys Struggle Over Paris Draft Agreement

  • Date: 27/10/15
  • Steven Mufson, The Washington Post

Developed countries are not on pace to meet their earlier pledge to “mobilize” $100 billion a year from public and private sources to spur climate action in developing countries by 2020.

If there is one thing President Obama and French President Francois Hollande want to avoid at next month’s climate summit in Paris it is the messy, last-minute wrangling that marred the last summit in Copenhagen in 2009.

At the end of the Copenhagen conference, some frustrated leaders left early. Obama barged in on a private meeting of the biggest developing countries to insist that they sign on to an agreement. And the final accord failed to set a global target for greenhouse gas reductions.

The road to the Paris climate summit began in that confusion but has been a lot smoother — at least so far.

For the past year Obama has appealed to the leaders of the biggest developing countries — China, India and Brazil — and pressed them to take aggressive steps to cut greenhouse gas emissions, or dramatically slow their growth. Obama is passionate about the Paris climate summit, which could become an important part of his legacy and a key diplomatic achievement.

Hollande is optimistic enough to have invited Obama and other world leaders to gather on Nov. 30, at the beginning of the two-week conference (known as COP21).

But stumbling blocks still remain. Developed countries are not on pace to meet their earlier pledge to “mobilize” $100 billion a year from public and private sources to spur climate action in developing countries by 2020. […]

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