The climate change summit in Paris is entering its final five days, and Monday saw ministers from countries all over the globe head to the talks to secure a deal.
Since the summit began delegates have been working on a draft negotiating text to present to their leaders, and the hope will be that an effective and fair agreement can soon be reached.
One of the biggest concerns that was highlighted in the build up to this summit was whether or not the more developed countries would be prepared to give financial support to the poorer nations in exchange for progress on climate change.
LEDCs (Less Economically Developed Countries) have said from the beginning that the whole summit could end in failure if the rich attempted to limit their growth in order to protect the environment.
The deal in Paris must not result in the poor accepting starvation as the cost of climate action.
It has taken around four years for negotiators to be able to come up with a draft of the long-term agreement. Ministers will now attempt to turn this draft into a deal that will be accepted by all of the countries involved. There are a total of 195 nations in attendance; it will be a hard task to reach an agreement.
It is believed that the 48-page document currently contains over 900 square brackets, which are used to signify areas of contention.
Several of the negotiators have expressed their concerns that too much of the final effort is being left to politicians.
The EU Climate Commissioner, Miguel Arias Canete, said:
“All the difficult political issues remain unsolved, and will be solved by the ministers, next week is the week of compromise; it’s a difficult week.”
It is still unclear whether or not the deal will end up being legally enforceable or whether that would only apply to certain sections.
Many countries are also in disagreement over the way in which developing countries and developed countries are being treated differently.
Climate advisor to Gordon Brown in 2009, Michael Jacobs, said:
“Developed countries and now many developing countries acknowledge that the world has changed,”
“There are many different kinds of countries, and they want developing countries to act as well as developed. That kind of binary division cannot be in an agreement that is signed.”
Gurdial Singh Nijar of Malaysia said:
“We cannot accept starvation as a price for the success of this agreement,”
“The world has changed? Yes, the world has changed but not in the way that you intend to use it perhaps as a subterfuge to undermine the basic precepts of the convention.
“We cannot accept that because to accept that is to destroy our societies,”
Another problem that is facing many of the negotiators from smaller countries is the basic matter of fatigue.
A source from within one such team said:
“Our negotiators must contribute to hours of talks, representing the poorest nations, as other countries tap in and out around them, as well as fitting in all the other meetings at the start and end of the day,”
“They are averaging around three hours’ sleep a night and the pressure will only grow.”