Obama Calls PM Modi as Paris Climate Talks Enter Last Lap

Obama called Modi and both agreed to address issues under discussion at the Paris conference through constructive engagement.

Published: 10th December 2015 03:47 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th December 2015 03:47 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: With two days left for the world to chart out a legal instrument to save the planet, US President Barack Obama on Wednesday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi and both agreed to address issues under discussion at the Paris conference through constructive engagement. This comes at a time when India is being projected by developed nations, especially the US, as a hurdle to the agreement.

“The conversation focused on the ongoing Conference of Parties (CoP21) in Paris. Both leaders underscored their strong commitment to address issues related to climate change being discussed in the Paris conference through constructive engagement, without impeding the progress of developing countries,” said a statement issued by the PMO.

A new short draft, highlighting differences and points of agreement among all the countries, was unveiled at CoP 21 in Paris. The 29-page draft will now become the basis for further negotiations. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius unveiled the new draft but sticking points remain on differences among the rich and poor nations, financing developing nations to take climate resilient measures and the level of agreement. The new draft has introduced a slightly weak option to limit temperature below 1.5 degree Celsius and below 2 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels from the previous well below 2 degree Celsius.

Big bracketed text, showing disagreement among countries, revolves around  carbon space. It reads: “Noting that the largest share of historical global emissions of greenhouse gases has originated in developed countries, that per capita emissions in developing countries are still relatively low and that the share of global emissions originating in developing countries will grow to meet their social and development needs.”

Countries will now go through the points of the text and meet again a few hours later to deliberate on it. Announcing the final draft, Fabius said the issue of mitigation and adaption was almost resolved and that negotiators were closer to an agreement on transparency. He said they had also made initial progress on ‘transfer of technologies’ and forests. “We have made progress but still a lot of work needs to be done. A meeting has been convened later tonight,” the minister said.

The talks are expected to spill over beyond the December 11 deadline as now heads of states will sit together to clinch the final deal.

Civil society groups criticised the draft document saying rich nations are unwilling to commit anything.


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