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PARIS, France – French President Francois Hollande warned Wednesday, May 20, that time was short for a year-end deal on climate change and called on world leaders to unlock the complex process in the months ahead.
In a speech opening a two-day gathering of business executives on climate change, Hollande said “200 days are left” before a crucial UN conference which France will host.
“That may seem a lot of time, but in fact there’s very little,” Hollande said. “It’s urgent.”
The Paris conference, from November 30 to December 11, will be the first attempt at a planet-wide deal on global warming since the near-disastrous 2009 UN summit in Copenhagen.
The Paris accord, which would take effect from 2020, would aim at limiting global warming to a maximum of 2ºC (3.6ºF) over pre-industrial levels.
Hollande said finding a consensus among the 196 parties involved would “require something of a miracle, and good conscience and responsibility too”.
He said that “what would be ideal… would be to be able to reach agreement before Paris”.
“This is a matter for heads of government and negotiators,” particularly at the UN General Assembly in New York in September and the G20 economies summit in Turkey in November, he said.
At the core of the deal would be a roster of national pledges for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions – the invisible pollution from fossil fuels that drives climate-damaging temperature rise.
So far, only 38 parties have put their carbon pledges on the table, according to the website of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Among the major emitters, submissions have been made by the United States, the European Union, Russia and Canada, but not by Australia, Brazil, India and Japan.
Hollande said the small number of pledges was “a source of concern for me” and called on “the most developed countries to provide what is being asked of them”.
The draft text for Paris is a sprawling document that incorporates every national viewpoint.
Slimming it into a manageable blueprint is the task of the next negotiation round, running in the former West German capital of Bonn from June 1-11. – Rappler.com