A day after world leaders vowed to unitedly fight climate change, negotiators from 195 countries began marathon talks to strike a historic agreement with India today asking developed nations to commit to more progressive emission cuts for a “just and sustainable” deal.

Negotiators today scrambled to give shape to a 54-page text into a blueprint that can be approved by December 11.

Ajay Mathur, one of the top Indian negotiators at the Conference of Parties (CoP21), said India remains committed to working with all parties for a “just and sustainable” deal.

He asserted that India wanted developed nations to commit to more progressive targets on emission reductions.

“Just in as much as it takes into account the interest of people who will be affected and also those who still do not have adequate access to affordable energy. We would like the agreement to move us on to a path that takes us to a temperature increase of less than 2 degrees,” Mathur said

“We want countries to commit, act and deliver while promising even more progressive targets as time goes by. We would not like an agreement in which people step out as they did in the Kyoto protocol when they saw that they could not meet the targets.”

The ongoing conference will, for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations, aims to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement, with the aim of keeping the rise in global temperatures to below 2°C over pre-industrial levels.

Scientists estimate that if the world warms by more than 2°C on average above the pre-industrial levels by the end of this century, the effects of climate change will become catastrophic and irreversible.



US President Barack Obama with leaders of island nations under threat by rising sea levels during the World Climate Change Conference in Paris on Tuesday. Reuters

A 2°C limit has long been the goal of UN climate summits, and current pledges from all countries are estimated to lead to warming of 2.7 °C to 3°C, although the proposed deal has a provision for increased emissions cuts in future.

Countries like China and India have laid out plans for cuts to their emissions. These will form the centrepiece of any deal at the summit. Prime Minister Modi has cautioned against any unilateral steps that will lead to an economic barrier in the battle against climate change. He hoped the developed countries would mobilise USD 100 billion annually by 2020 for mitigation and adapt

“The principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities must remain the bedrock of our collective enterprise,” Modi said.

The summit is being held under the shadow of the deadly Paris terror attacks that killed 130 people two weeks ago.

About 2,800 police and soldiers have been deployed around the conference site and over 6,000 have been deployed in the city. — PTI


Smog blankets Beijing

All schools in the Chinese capital Beijing have been ordered to keep students indoors and adjust classroom activities as heavy smog blanketed the city of 21 million for the third day as top emitter of greenhouse gases China grappled with heavy pollution. PTI

A security imperative: Obama

US President Barack Obama on Monday called the global threat of climate change "an economic and security imperative." If global warming continues, "then before long we are going to have to devote more and more of our economic and military resources not to growing opportunity for our people but to adapting to various consequences of a changing planet", he said. AFP


A man covers his nose and mouth as he walks down a road in heavy pollution in Beijing on Tuesday. AFP

Source: The Tribune, Chandigarh