Climate Deal Draft Unveiled

Climate Deal Draft UnveiledClimate Deal Draft Unveiled

After years of buildup and weeks of negotiations, diplomats issued a final draft of a climate change agreement Saturday that the French foreign minister described as “Fair ... and legally binding.”

If adopted, the agreement would set an ambitious goal of halting average warming at no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures --and of striving for a limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius if possible, CNN reported.

World leaders hailed the draft as a milestone in the battle keep Earth a planet that is hospitable to human life. But there is still a mountain to climb.

Failure to set a cap could result in super-droughts, deadlier heat waves, mass extinctions of plants and animals, mega-floods and rising seas that could wipe some island countries off the map. The only way to reach the goal, scientists say, is to eliminate fossil fuels.

The draft now goes to government ministers. Delegates from 196 parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change were asked later in the day to adopt or reject the proposal.

Greenpeace and other prominent environment groups said the accord would be a huge blow to the fossil-fuel industry.

“The wheel of climate action turns slowly, but in Paris it has turned. This deal puts the fossil fuel industry on the wrong side of history,” Greenpeace International executive director Kumi Naidoo said.