UN conference on climate change - The countdown has begun

The 43-page text, which was sent on Saturday 5 December, includes compromise proposals on each main negotiating chapter. It is supplemented by five pages of “concept notes” to inform the Ministers of the debates which took place last week. “The wording is more concise, the number of options has been reduced. This new draft is a step towards the final compromise”, declared COP21 President Laurent Fabius at a press briefing on Monday 7 December.

This week of negotiations began with addresses by about 100 Ministers from around the world, which will continue tomorrow. In parallel, the Ministers appointed as facilitators by Laurent Fabius – “the Ambassadors for compromise” – began their work within working groups on Sunday afternoon.

The COP21 President set out a new working method in order to move forward more quickly. This working method was adopted in the plenary session on Saturday 5 December by 196 parties and is based around:

  • the Paris Committee, chaired by Laurent Fabius, which will meet every day.
  • four working groups, whose discussions will be guided by two Ministers per group, working as facilitators. Further information on the Ministers.
  • a group for legal and linguistic verifications.

Further information on the working methods.

The themes chosen for the working groups are those which must be largely resolved in order to secure an agreement:

  • the “means of implementation”, i.e. issues relating to financing and technology transfers;
  • “differentiation”, referring to the historic responsibility of developed countries for greenhouse gas emissions;
  • “ambition” of the agreement, its long-term objective and its review mechanisms;
  • “pre-2020 action”, i.e. the actions to be taken before 2020, the planned date for the agreement’s entry into force.

Next steps:
– Thursday 10 December: the agreement must be concluded in order to carry out the final legal verifications and to translate it into the six official UN languages (English, French, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Spanish).
– Friday 11 December: adoption of the agreement in the plenary session at 6 p.m.

(Press release COP21)

For more information go to cop21.gouv.fr/en