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10 Dec 2015

Day 11 – are we all on the same page?


Parties spent all last night pawing over yesterday's version of the agreement, and Laurent Fabius has requested a new draft, which is to be as close as possible to the final version, to be presented this afternoon. At 6pm tomorrow evening, Fabius wants the agreement ready for adoption.


Despite the headway undoubtedly being made, there are still countries which are proving harder to convince, including India and China; the latter being the world's biggest polluter. Both these major powerhouses have reservations about the proposed five-yearly reviews and the increasing momentum towards a 1.5°C target. Out of these two emerging nations, both keen to ensure their economic growth isn't hindered, it was India that was expected to prove the biggest challenge. Conversely, China is the country now accused of blocking progress due to its resistance to a legally-binding review process and a common system for reporting emissions.

China and India are by no means the only nations posing a challenge to the progress of the Conference though. Saudi Arabia, an economy almost entirely dependent on fossil fuels, is perhaps unsurprisingly resistant to the ambitious goals proposed by COP21. Whilst publicly voicing a new-found commitment to climate change initiatives, insider reports suggest delegates are trying to block any move towards a target of 1.5°C, any compulsory review mechanism and the goal of decarbonisation by mid-century. It is hoped that the influential Saudi Arabia will not succeed in preventing the Arab bloc from endorsing an ambitious global agreement.


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