News World Climate agreement long way off

Climate agreement long way off

julie bishop
Bishop won't rule out UN-backed prosecution for the MH17 attackers. Photo: AAP
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Australian negotiators will work through the night (local time) at major climate talks in Paris, with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop declaring there’s still a lot of work to do on a deal.

A new draft accord was revealed on Wednesday at the United Nations conference but it contained no clear agreement on the key hurdles of climate finance, ambition and differentiation.

Ms Bishop remained tightlipped about Australia’s reactions to specifics in the text but warned the document was a long way from getting her signature.

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“Clearly, this is the beginning of the end of the negotiations and there’s still a lot of work to be done,” she told reporters in Paris on Wednesday evening.

“Our negotiators are working through the night.”

The French implemented a new negotiating process at the weekend, which has shaved several pages off the draft agreement.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, the conference president, said the text was a “map of progress” but also contained major sticking points.

The three main hurdles have been of concern throughout the talks, with developing nations asking the richer countries to help pay for climate action and vulnerable states wanting global warming limited to 1.5C.

There’s also disagreement on who should do what, with an option still in the agreement to force only rich countries to slash emissions.

Australia opposes that option, calling for all countries to do their part to curb global emissions.

“All countries need to take action and there should be a level playing field,” Ms Bishop said.

The conference is due to wrap up on Friday, but there’s speculation talks could run over time despite the French insisting that won’t happen.

Mr Fabius urged negotiators to “speedily” develop compromises.

“Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed,” he said.

Ms Bishop remains optimistic 196 parties will walk away with a strong agreement at the end of the talks.

Oxfam Australia chief executive Helen Szoke gave the new draft a “pretty disappointing report card”, concerned about a lack of agreement over climate finance.

“There’s a kind of deflating sense of disappointment because there was an expectation that we would have got a bit further,” she told AAP in Paris.

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