Sunday, December 6, 2015

Notations On Our World (W-End Edition): On the "Virtual Road @ #COP21 (With Late Breaking Developments)

As we hope all enjoy this latest snapshot courtesy of the +The Guardian , what we found gratifying over the past 24 hours was that a draft agreement has apparently been reached:

Remise du projet d'accord 

We are extremely gratified by this development as we hope all will live up to it because we here @ #Ousiders view it as a matter of life.     As we went to Press with this weekend edition we received reports from China that Beijing elementary and middle schools were required to suspend outdoor activities as the city issued an orange altert for smog....".      The Fierce urgency of now is ever so critical.....


Dear Mike,

At the end of the first week of the talks, there are still huge divisions between countries on all the key points. The French formally take over running the meeting on Saturday when negotiators hand over the text of what they've managed to agree so far. At the moment they haven't agreed very much, despite a myriad of meetings lasting late into the night to try to find consensus on each point.

There is a big dispute over whether the agreement should be aiming to limit global warming to 2 degrees, or 1.5 degrees, in line with the latest science, for example. Small island states, at risk of inundation, are digging in on 1.5 degrees, along with other countries. But nations like Saudi Arabia and India are adamant it should not be mentioned. Countries are also at loggerheads over whether all should eventually have to properly report their emissions and track progress towards their national target, something that's pretty important in an agreement that won't be legally binding and won't contain any sanctions. I wrote about this disagreement here.

Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, has now appointed a bunch of high level officials to try to crunch agreements before the text is handed over at noon tomorrow. The foreign ministers and other high level officials take over the negotiating for the final, critical week. It's supposed to be done by next Friday, but these things seldom finish on time….

Here's today's reading list, with a few extra long reads for the weekend

Weekend reading

Yours Sincerely,
Lenore Taylor, political editor, Guardian Australia

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