Draft Deal at Climate Summit

Draft Deal at Climate SummitDraft Deal at Climate Summit

Negotiators from 195 nations agreed on a draft Saturday for a pact to save mankind from disastrous global warming, raising hopes that decades of arguments will finally end with a historic deal in Paris, international media reported.

The planned pact would aim to break the world’s dependence on fossil fuels, slashing the greenhouse gas emissions from burning oil, coal and gas that are causing temperatures to rise dangerously. The 43 page text marks a major advance over the last failed summit in Copenhagen six years ago but there are still hundreds of disputed issues that still need to be resolved, according to AFP.

“I believe this draft represents progress. But I think everyone will acknowledge that we need to go deeper and we need to firm things up before Friday… we’re not just talking about the environment, or the climate, we’re talking about life,” said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius who is President of the COP21 climate conference.

UN negotiations dating back to the early 1990s have failed to forge unity between rich and poor nations, and the Paris talks are being described as the “last, best chance” to save mankind.

Negotiators finalized the draft after an often tense week of talks in Le Bourget on the northern outskirts of Paris. And while ministers still need to resolve many extremely contentious points during a scheduled five days of talks starting Monday, delegates said they felt the foundations had been laid for success.

“While we are talking, greenhouse gases are being emitted and at some point it becomes irreversible. So we must succeed,” said Fabius. “We are talking about life itself.”

After the draft was adopted to loud applause, South African negotiator Nozipho Mxakato-Diseko drew on her nation’s revered democracy icon in a bid to inspire others.

“In the words of Nelson Mandela, it always seems impossible until it is done,” she said. But no one in Le Bourget is under the illusion that a December 11 deal is guaranteed.

“Let’s be frank: all the difficult political issues remain unresolved,” European Climate and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said. “Next week is the week of compromise.”